Why was it necessary for God to become a man? Why did the great event that should be the focus of every Christian’s Christmas celebration take place?
Hebrews 2:14-15 provides an answer: “Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, He himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death He might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.”
We are “flesh and blood”. God is not.
We are born sinners and commit sins (Psalm 51:5; Romans 3:23). God has forever existed sinlessly.
As a present consequence of our sinfulness, we lie obliviously in a state of spiritual death under the power of the devil (2 Corinthians 4:3-4; 1 John 5:19). As an eventual consequence of our sinfulness and spiritual death, we will die physically and face the just judgment of our Maker who can neither sin, nor die (Romans 14:11-12; Revelation 20:11-15).
While awaiting our inevitable judgment we are “subject to lifelong slavery”. We may feel free and think we’re free, but our choices show that we are enslaved to something other than God. We don’t love Him sincerely or consistently. We are bound to our own preferences and priorities above His. Whether we express this through denying His claims upon us or by trying in our own strength to answer those claims, we demonstrate He is not our Master and that we deserve His condemnation.
His standard of judgment will not be the preferences and opinions of men, but His own perfection. Standing next to the incomparable purity of His perfection, the kindest and most generous among us will look like the worst of criminals.
Therefore, God Himself, in His great mercy, partook of the same things as us – “flesh and blood” – that through death He might destroy the devil and deliver us. Remaining what He was, He became also what He was not in order to suffer what He otherwise could not. He became what we are in order to suffer what we deserve and make us what we were not: children of God freed from sin, the snare of the devil, and the fear of death.
This is the true Christmas message and the greatest Christmas gift: the immortal and blessed God became a mortal man to bear the curse of us mortal men and make us forever blessed (Hebrews 2:14-15; 2 Corinthians 8:9; Galatians 3:13; 4:4-5; Revelation 22:14)!