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Thomas F. Fischer, M.Div., M.S.A., Editor


Fourth Sunday In Advent
Series C

Option #1: "The Father's Christmas Preparation"
Hebrews 10:5-10
Rev. Wayne Dobratz, B.A., M.Div.

I. The Father loved the world so much that He gave His only Son--v5; cf 1:6, 2:14-15; Matt 1:20-23; John 3:16; Gal 4:4-6; Eph 5:1-2

II. It was necessary because human works, though commanded, did not suffice--vv6&8, Heb 9:11-14, 10:1-4

III. He prepared a body for His eternal Son because only the sacrifice of Christ’s body could make sinners holy--vv9-10; Heb 2:11ff, 7:18, 8:7-13, 9:12ff, 26b-28, 1 Cor 1:26-30, 6:9-11

Matthew Henry: Here the apostle raises up and exalts the Lord Jesus Christ, as high as he had laid the Levitical priesthood low. He recommends Christ to them as the true high priest, the true atoning sacrifice, the antitype of all the rest: and this he illustrates: 
From what God had done in preparing a body for Christ (that is, a human nature), that he might be qualified to be our Redeemer and Advocate; uniting the two natures in his own
person, he was a fit Mediator to go between God and man; a peace-maker, to reconcile them, and an everlasting band of union between God and the creature. 

From the readiness and willingness that Christ discovered to engage in this work, when no other sacrifice would be accepted, vv7-9. When no less sacrifice would be a proper
satisfaction to the justice of God than that of Christ himself, then Christ voluntarily came into it: "Lo, I come! I delight to do thy will, O God! Let thy curse fall upon me, but let these go their way. Father, I delight to fulfil thy counsels, and my covenant with thee for them; I delight to perform all thy promises, to fulfill all the prophecies." This should endear Christ and our Bibles to us, that in Christ we have the fulfilling of the scriptures.

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Children’s Message on Hebrews 10:8-10

Visual: a cross, preferably large enough to serve as a bridge.

Sooner or later, you’ll have some pretty deep thoughts. Maybe it will happen just before you go to sleep or maybe when you’re sitting in the back seat on one of those long
drives. Maybe it will happen on the way to Grandma’s house.

Here’s one of these deep thoughts: Ever ask your Mom or Dad this one? "Why was I born?" When you get a little older, you may ask the same question another way: "What should I do with my life?" Or you may ask: "What am I here for?" 

I can’t answer those questions for you, but I want you to think about Jesus being just your age. The Bible says that he was completely human. So whatever you are feeling, the Bible says he felt the same things. 

There was one difference, though. He knew why he was here. God the Father prepared a body for him for one purpose--that he might die on the cross for our sins. Look at it this way (show the cross): God is holy and he hates sin. The Bible says that he hates sin as much as we hate a really bad smell, like rotten food or a pig barn. But he really loves
us a lot. So he prepared a way that Jesus could have a body. 

Jesus was born without sin from the virgin Mary through the power of the Holy Spirit. He never sinned even once, so when they laid him down on the cross, he wasn’t suffering for
his own sins. He was suffering and dying for our sins. That’s how this cross becomes a bridge. The Holy God sent his Holy Son to die for the sins of all people for all time.
His holy blood washes away all our sins. Even God can’t see them now. That’s how we are made holy: our sins are taken away and Jesus’ perfect life is made ours by faith.

So whenever you see a cross, see a bridge--a bridge that made it possible for sinful people to have eternal life with the Holy God forever and ever. And that’s what we are celebrating this Christmas!

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Option Two: "A Reign Dear!"
Micah 5:4
"He shall stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the Lord."
Rev. Kelly Bedard, B.A., M.Div. 
(Based on a devotion by Charles Spurgeon)

A. A practical reign: the great Head of the Church is actively engaged in providing for His people. He does not sit down upon the throne in empty state, or hold a sceptre without wielding it in government. No, He stands and feeds. The expression "feed," in the original, is like an analogous one in the Greek, which means to shepherdize, to do everything expected of a shepherd: to guide, to watch, to preserve, to restore, to tend, as well as to feed.

B. A perpetual reign: not "He shall feed now and then and leave His position"; not "He shall one day grant a revival and then next day leave His Church to barrenness." His eyes
never slumber, and His hands never rest; His heart never ceases to beat with love, and His shoulders are never weary of carrying His people's burdens.

C. A powerful reign: wherever Christ is, there is God; and whatever Christ does is the act of the Most High. Oh! it is a joyful truth to consider that He who stands today representing the interests of His people is very God of very God, to whom every knee shall bow. Happy are we who belong to such a shepherd, whose humanity communes with us, and whose divinity protects us. Let us worship and bow down before Him as the people of His pasture.

Notes:

1. 'Ephraath {ef-rawth'} or 'Ephrathah {ef-raw'-thaw}, v2: Ephrath or Ephratah (Strong's)

2. Christ's reign in His Church is that of a shepherd-king. He has supremacy, but it is the superiority of a wise and tender shepherd over his needy and loving flock; He commands
and receives obedience, but it is the willing obedience of the well-cared-for sheep, rendered joyfully to their beloved Shepherd, whose voice they know so well. He rules by the force of love and the energy of goodness. (Charles Spurgeon)


 

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This page was revised on: Friday, January 20, 2006 12:10:34 PM