December 2: The Forgiveness of Sins (Heb 2:17-18)
This Sunday, December 2 we will begin an advent series considering why Christ came; this week we will be reminded that he came for the forgiveness of sins. Here are resources to help you prepare for the Sunday morning service, as well as to direct your prayer and reflection in the following week.
Traditionally the church has celebrated the four weeks before Christmas as a season known as advent. Advent means "coming." And the following weeks leading up to Christmas we will consider Jesus coming in the flesh, like us in every respect. Many of our traditions focus on holiday cheer, gift giving, and celebrations, but the first coming of Jesus had a specific purpose which focused on the death of the One coming. The incarnation cannot be seen apart from the cross. To separate them is to fail to understand why he came. As you prepare for worship this Sunday, consider that the joy associated with Christmas is not merely that he came, but that he came as a merciful and faithful high priest to atone for the sins of the people. Refresh yourself past the familiarity of Christmas as you give due thought to the purpose of Christmas, which is the reconciliation of people to God.
Fellowship Starter Questions
What does it mean that he was made like his brothers in every respect? Why was it a necessity that it should be this way ("he had to be made like his brothers")?
Explain "both sides" of making propitiation for the sins of the people (covering sin and averting wrath).
If we dismiss the wrath of God, what impact does that have on the necessity of Christ's sacrificial death?
How can Jesus help us overcome temptation?
What inhibits you from looking to Jesus as your merciful and faithful high priest?
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