Why Christmas happened

This is the time of year we ask ourselves why Jesus came to us as one of us. Those of us who preach the lectionary are studying the story of Joseph dreaming of angels. And the question persists. Why did God become a human?

A John Wesley would encourage us to use scripture to interpret scripture. With this particular question, the first text that comes to my mind is Hebrews 2:14-18.

Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil—and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham’s descendants. For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

He became human to break the power of death and free us from slavery to the fear of death. By his death he would make atonement for the sins of the people.

This sounds a lot like the “born to die” formula that many people find problematic, but the writer of Hebrews appears fairly convinced of the purpose of the incarnation.

What other biblical resources do we have to answer the question of why God became human?


2 thoughts on “Why Christmas happened

    1. Thank you, John.

      I’m not sure. I fear I have no more clarity on the issues that led to my hiatus, but it was not wasted time.

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