WHAT THE CROSS DID FOR US
Incarnation: Christ came to save us from our sin
Jerry A Collins
v How did Jesus incarnation serve us?
v Was the incarnation a way to control the Devil?
v How did the incarnation make Jesus a High Priest?
He is a person of two worlds. The first is the world to come vs 5. In God’s sovereign plan He did not subject the world, which is to come—probably the 1000 year kingdom—to the angels. This is in spite of the fact that man and his descendents were created a little lower than the angels just like Jesus in His incarnation and were originally appointed over the works of God’s hands but the fall changed everything. It is because of this fall of Adam and Eve we do not yet see all things subjected to him—that is to man vs 8. Jesus is called the son of man vs 6 because he did not take on the form of angels but he took of flesh joining the ranks of humanity and Himself then in His flesh made a little lower than the angels vs 9. Jesus was the God-man not the God-angel in His incarnation during his sojourn on this earth. The second world Jesus belongs to is this one. Actually, it is the point of the following verse, 9-18 that declares the significance of the incarnation of Christ. Before the throne, before the crown, before the reign, and before subjection of all things under His authority, come the humiliation, the suffering, and the death, namely, Jesus incarnation. Note the key contrast that pivots on the word ‘But” in vs 9. From the lofty image of the world to come we descend into suffering, and death associated with this world—the very one Jesus stepped into on Christmas He arrived a babe in Bethlehem and from that precarious beginning we see the fragility of His future threatened by suffering and death from His infancy to adulthood. Satan is on the prowl. With a hint of knowledge of God’s plan, attempts to frustrate and spoil and destroy whatever God is doing and in the process, because He is ignorant, arrogant, and not omniscient, only seals his own doom. Note the repetition of suffering and death on this section. You would think that this is no prelude to glory and power and authority—but it is. In God’s economy the last shall be first. Those who lose their life shall find it. Humble your self and you will be exalted. Deny yourself and you will find yourself. So, too, Jesus coming to join us in our humanity is the stage upon which He will be crowned King of Kings and Lord of Lords. So how does the incarnation do this? What is its significance?
INCARNATION MADE UNIVERSAL SUBSTITUTIONARY ATONEMENT POSSIBLE 9
The point is that He might taste death for everyone 9c. First this was an act of grace as it was by the grace of God he did this. This tells us that it was the unmerited favor of God for a lost world. But it was on behalf of or as a substitute for everyone. So the incarnation of Christ as a son of man was necessary for the death of Christ. And that death was an unmerited favor of God whereby His Son died as a substitution for or instead of everyone. This does not mean all humanity is redeemed, or saved or the elect of God. It only means all humanity is in a different position before God because of the death of Christ which was only possible because He took on flesh. We are all savable because we have a substitute. The implication is that there is no other way to God because there is no other substitute and we need one.
INCARNATION ALLOWED SUFFERING THAT COMPLETED WHO CHRIST WAS AS MAN 10
First he tells us that this suffering was appropriate or fitting for One who came to associate with us. Since we will suffer, He must suffer and by doing so can give us the help we require. Then He reminds us that while doing this, He is still the same one who has dominion over the created order—thus retains His status as God while adding the full status of man. We are linked to Jesus then in this glory that is His and He is linked to us in the suffering that is ours. We will share in His glory as He has shared in our suffering! This is how he can bring many sons to glory—that is all of us who believe. But this comes about thru the incarnation, which serves to perfect the author of their salvation thru sufferings. But how can He who is perfect be perfected?
1. The word means to complete, perfect, finish. So Jesus was perfected in sense of being completed by His suffering—that is joining the ranks of humanity meant that full exposure meant suffering.
2. We often think of perfection improving imperfection but not necessarily. I was a high school student, college student, seminary student and now doctoral student. Pursuing a doctoral degree does not mean I was something less than a student before. Thru suffering of my training I hope to receive doctorate, something even more complete, finished & perfect than I was before. Christ was the infinite Son of God before coming but suffering made him something he wasn’t before.
INCARNATION PROCLAIMS THE GOSPEL THAT FREES US FROM FEAR OF DEATH 11-16
We can proclaim the gospel 11-13
These quotes are from David in Psa 22 and Isaiah in chp 8. First, His death makes us holy calling us brothers 11-12. Jesus can now call us brothers—his family. We are his. Together, then, we can sing His praise in the midst of circle of family He now has just like they are doing around the throne He possesses in rev 4. Second, the basis of this relationship is faith in Him who came to save us in His incarnation 13. Our trust in God like Isaiah’s secures our relationship as sons. Third, so Christ regards us as the children God has given to him 13. The incarnation makes the gospel possible and the gospel makes our salvation possible and our salvation makes our eternal destiny as God’s children possible.
Satan is made powerless 14-16
Looking at Jesus temptations the impression is that the devil wanted Jesus to go straight to the kingdom and do what Satan suggested. Jesus did not legitimatize Satan in any way. Instead Jesus sufferings annulled any power over those Jesus saved. Speaking of the devil as one wielding the power of death means Satan uses the fear of death vs 15 to enslave people to only live life for this side of the grave. Self-preservation is a powerful force that can motivate people to make immoral choices in pursuit of the allurements all around. So the incarnation and the suffering that completed Jesus as a man means we are free from living from a ‘this world’ perspective.
INCARNATION PLACES CHRIST IN ROLE OF A MERCIFUL HIGH PRIEST 16-18
First, because of incarnation and suffering He can supply the help 16 and the aid 18 we need. Not so for angels. He understands our predicament and can custom design the form of assistance we will need.
Second, Christ took on role of High Priest 17. An Ot priest could offer sacrifice but never to satisfy God’s holiness. But incarnation allowed Christ to sacrifice Himself as satisfaction to God. So He offers mercy—an unmerited non-punishment—to the world of humans being faithful—consistently obedient—to His calling.
Third, incarnation made temptation possible 18. He could not be tempted in the heavenlies but when he took form of humanity his temptations meant he could identify by experience with us humans who are tempted in this world in flesh. As priest he can represent us fully before God the Father and as High Priest He delivers us eternally and Id’s with us temporally. He is not aloof, out of touch, unsympathetic, nor unable to understand.
1. We can expect that our salvation/spiritual life will be perfected, made complete through the sufferings we experience.
2. Our faith should take us beyond a ‘this world’ perspective toward an eternal one where our hope truly is.