Why Did Jesus Come in the Flesh?

“Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.” (Hebrews 2:14-15, ESV)

Christmas can be a dangerous time of the year because, amid our celebrations, we may forget there are others with great needs who face suffering and heartache during this season. We need to consider that Christmas is a great time for ministry. So, let us be compassionate and caring toward all, and let us seek opportunities to minister this Christmas.

There is an even greater reason why Christmas is dangerous; it's dangerous because amid all the lights and carols and candy and tinsel, we can forget exactly WHY it was Jesus came. But when we ask why Jesus came in the flesh, we are asking at least two questions. First, we are asking, “Why Jesus came in the FLESH?”  In other words, why did Jesus have to take on human form? The second aspect of the question is, “WHY did Jesus come in the flesh?”  Here we are asking about the purpose of the incarnation-God coming in the flesh. As we consider the WHY of Christmas, let me give two answers that begin to address both aspects of the question and leads us to bask in the glory of God's beloved Son and our Savior, Jesus.

First, Jesus came in the flesh as our champion to destroy the devil and deliver us from slavery (Hebrews 2:14-16). A champion identified with a particular people and represented them on the battlefield against an enemy. Perhaps the most famous champions in the Bible are David and Goliath (1 Samuel 17). Goliath represented the Philistines, while David represented Israel and God. As we know, David defeated Goliath and liberated Israel from present and future fear of the Philistines: i.e., bondage. Jesus is our champion sent by God to identify with us and represent us on the battlefield of this world against our enemy the devil. By his incarnation Jesus both identified with us and represented us. By His death and resurrection Jesus both defeated the devil and liberated us from slavery. Consequently, because of Christ’s victory over sin and Satan and death, we no longer need to fear death (1 Corinthians 15:50-57).

Secondly, Jesus came in the flesh as our high priest to make a sacrifice for our sins (Hebrews 2:17-18). As the high priest represented the people before God in the temple (Hebrews 5:1-3), so Jesus had to be made like us in every way (except sin: Hebrews 4:15; 7:26) to represent us before God. Jesus is our high priest who offers Himself as the sacrificial lamb in our place (Hebrews 10:1-18). Therefore, because of Christ’s high priestly work, we can draw near to God with confidence (Hebrews 10:19-25).  

So, for a world full of fear and without hope, we remember this Christmas that Jesus came to defeat the devil by paying the penalty for our sin through His sacrificial death, so that all who put their trust in Jesus Christ as their champion and high priest have their sins forgiven and no longer need to fear death. For a world full of suffering, we remember that since Jesus came in flesh and blood and suffered as a human being, then He is able to help us in our own suffering. Therefore, consider Jesus, who has already run the course of this life and faced suffering and is now seated at the right hand of God. And run the race of life with endurance, keeping your eyes fixed upon Jesus, the originator and completer of our faith.

Love,

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