Eternal Savior Lutheran Church

A member of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod

2688 North Park Drive
Lafayette, CO 80026
303-665-6105
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CHRISTMAS DAY – Hebrews 1:1-6 “OUR GLORIOUS LORD JESUS”

Introduction:  Grace be to you and peace, from God our Father, and from our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ.  Our text is the Epistle Lesson just read, from Heb. 1.  We begin with prayer.

 

Dear fellow disciples of our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ:

  • We are celebrating a newborn today. Christmas Eve is a beloved time of year because it is about a baby, and everyone loves babies!  And we often emphasize more highly the “human” things about Jesus, this baby born in Bethlehem.
  • This is appropriate, of course, for it is a remarkable thing, this “incarnation” of God, the Son of God. The surprising thing about Christmas is that the Creator of all things, “through Whom all things were made, and without Whom was not anything made that was made, “became flesh and dwelt among us,” displaying His glory.
  • However, the incarnation is only properly appreciated when we stop to consider Who it was that was “made man” and was born of the virgin Mary. It is the Divine Nature of the Lord Jesus Christ that makes Him glorious.  And the entirety of Him, including His human nature, is glorious indeed! 
  • Our text highlights Who it is “laying in a manger,” seemingly helpless, poor, and vulnerable. Our text makes clear that:

I.  Jesus Is God, Perfect God Made Flesh

 

Text:  “Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son, Whom He appointed the heir of all things, through Whom also He created the world.”

 

Gospel:  “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was in the beginning with God.  All things were made through Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made. . . . And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.”

A.  He Is Identically Divine, The Exact Imprint Of God’s Image

 

Text:  “He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of His nature.”

 

Gospel:  “We have seen His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

B.  As God And Man He Now Upholds The Entire Universe, Which He Created, By His Word

 

Text:  “He upholds the universe by the Word of His power.”

 

Statement:  All of this is so incredibly difficult to comprehend that we almost always tend to focus on one nature or the other.  When we do this, it is almost as if we were excluding the other nature.  We can think about Jesus as Almighty God; we can think about Jesus as a baby, a young lad, a young prophet, and a poor, weak man who suffered injustice and crucifixion.  We don’t seem to do that well at contemplating the whole picture.

 

Application:  What our text describes – in terms of the power and glory of Jesus – is in the manger.  This is the Lord Jesus, from the moment of His conception onward.  And so whatever weakness and vulnerability we think we see, can only be what He allows.  We know this as Christ’s state of humiliation, where for the suffering of death for our salvation He did not always and did not fully use the Divine power shared also in His human nature.  A mystery to be sure – however, we  dare not look into the Bethlehem cradle and see only humanity! 

 

Transition:  This is important for us to remember when we consider that:

II.  Jesus Came Into Human Flesh And Our World In Order To Save Us From Our Sins, And To Clearly Reveal The Father To Us

 

Text:  “After making purification for sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the Name He has inherited is more excellent than theirs. . . . In these last days He has spoken to us by His Son.”

 

Gospel:  “We have seen His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

 

John 17:3-6 “This is eternal life, that they know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ Whom You have sent.  I glorified You on earth, having accomplished the work that You have given Me to do.  Now Father, glorify Me in Your own presence with the glory that I had with You before the world existed.  I have revealed Your Name to the people whom You gave Me out of the world.”

 

John 1:29  “Behold the Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world.”

 

Statement:  This is critical, that we see and understand the purpose of the incarnation.  God wanted to make “purification for sins,” to take away the sin and guilt of the world.  Only He – God Himself – could do this.  But it had to be done in the same flesh as that being sanctified and redeemed, our own human flesh.  In this way Jesus has not only saved us, but shown us exactly what is in the heart of the Father, His redeeming and saving love.  So we are now able to know God, and Jesus Christ Whom He has sent.  This is eternal life!

 

Application:  Now, by the gift of Jesus and His enlightenment, we are among those given to Jesus “out of the world.”  We are privileged and blessed to celebrate His birth, to see in Him the Father, God the only True and Living God.  This is what we see and celebrate when we contemplate Christmas, the birth of Jesus. 

 

Transition:  And in Jesus, the giving of God does not end, for:

 

III.  Our Glorious Lord Jesus Christ Now Reigns Over All Things For Us, In Glory

 

Text:  “He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on High.”

 

Heb. 1:8  “But of the Son God says, ‘Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of Your kingdom.”

 

Statement:  The incarnation is not temporary, but rather eternal.  The Lord Jesus – both God and man – will reign forever and ever.  “He upholds the universe by His Word of power.” 

 

Application:  And just as He came for us, to provide salvation for us, so now He also reigns for us, as the apostle Paul assures us:  “Christ Jesus is the One Who died—more than that, Who was raised—Who is at the right hand of God, Who indeed is interceding for us.”  And we know that He is the One working all things together for the good of His people, those who love Him. [Rom. 8:28,32]

 

Conclusion:  Again, this is the One lying in the Bethlehem manger.  While He certainly is fully human, He is also the Ruler and Preserver of the universe.  And He continues to bless us!

 

It may be hard for us to pull together the disparities of being both Divine and human, but it is important to try.  And if we cannot master this, then it is all the more important that we continue moving from one consideration to the other.  And as we do so, we must not stumble into doubt or unbelief, but continue giving God the glory.  And we should continue worshiping Him, for even the angels are commanded to worship Jesus, their Creator and Preserver!

 

Let us receive Him, believe in His Name, and be the children of God.  Let us see His glory – the only Son from the Father Who became flesh and dwelt among us.  Amen.

 

Votum:  And the peace of God, which surpasses all human understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds in the true faith, which is in Christ Jesus, even unto life everlasting, Amen.