Body of Work

Scripture: Hebrews 10:4-10

Key Verse: Consequently, when Christ came into the world, he said, “Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired, but a body you have prepared for me.” (v. 5)

Observation: The original intent of the letter (actually this writing is more of a sermon) to the Hebrews was to encourage Jewish Christians to persevere as they experienced persecution in Jerusalem. To this end, this portion of the letter refers to Jesus’ stated purpose for coming to earth: to provide salvation that could never be achieved through the blood sacrifice of bulls and goats. Animal sacrifice covered but did not cure sin. The author quotes Jesus as saying “a body has been prepared for me” as support for the doctrine of incarnation. Jesus takes on a human body to redeem all human beings. Jesus’ willingness to be obedient even to the point of death on a cross serves as a source of hope to people who feel lost in the endless cycle of sinning, feeling guilty, attempting to change through sheer willpower or works, only to sin again. Jesus puts on a body to remove our need for works of sacrifice or otherwise.

Analysis: We typically think of incarnation during the Advent/Christmas season but we are reminded that it is insufficient to consider the Advent/Christmas season without considering Lenten/Easter season. God the Father is the ultimate sovereign and as such had unlimited options when it comes to bringing salvation to the world. God in God’s wisdom chose to bring salvation through the birth of a baby boy to a virgin mother. As we prepare to celebrate the death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on Easter Sunday morning, Jesus’ incarnation reminds us that what he did in his body matters. Jesus’ baptism redeems all the baptismal waters across time and space. Jesus’ growth and development offer redemption to every human being throughout history. As we grow and develop we are bound to sin and Jesus’ life offers us redemption. Incarnation reminds us that what we do in our bodies matters and Jesus has made a way for our body of work to be redeemed.

Prayer: Gracious and merciful God, we are in awe of all the ways you continue to provide for our salvation. We are thankful for the life, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ because we recognize his faithful obedience as our means of salvation. We humbly ask for a renewed spirit seeking salvation in the body and blood of Jesus Christ. It is in the name of Jesus, we pray. Amen.


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