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We Can Hope Because we identify with Christ

A Season of Hope  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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We identify with Christ in our humanity, suffering, and glorification.


We Can Hope because we Identify with Christ

I. Introduction
A. In our series for Advent, entitled “A Season of Hope”, we have looked at different aspects of the incarnation of Christ.
In the first message, we saw how we can have hope because Jesus said, if you have seen me, you have seen the father.
Last week, Pastor Jason preached a great message about how we can hope because Jesus has defeated sin and death.
This week, I would like to focus on how we can identify with Christ. We can hope because we can identify with Christ.
What does it mean when we say we can identify with someone?
to feel that you are similar to someone and can understand them or their situation:
For Example: Readers can identify with the hero of the novel.
We often say things like “I can identify with that or I can identify with this person or that person”.
In our society today, we have gone from identifying with something or someone to identifying as something or someone.
Society says that if you are a man and you want to identify as a woman then that’s fine. Or you can identify as whatever you want and we are supposed to accept it as a society.
I read a story recently where a man had first said that he identified as a woman and then after while said he identified as a dragon. He had his ears and nose removed and scales tattooed on his face. Obviously, there is some mental illness there that needs to be addressed but our society says that we must accept people for whatever or whoever they say they are instead of who they actually are. So there is a difference between identifying with someone and as someone.
One of the reasons the incarnation is so important is because we can identify with Christ. All of us. Believers and unbelievers can identify with Chris.
There are many ways that we identify with Christ but in this passage, 3 ways stand out. 2 of them present and 1 future.
We identify with Christ in our humanity
We identify with Christ in our suffering
We will identify with Christ in our glorification.
Let’s look at this passage more closely.
II. We identify with Christ in our humanity.
A. V. 11  For he who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one source. That is why he is not ashamed to call them brothers,
What is this one source from which come both the sanctifier, that is Christ, and the sanctified, that is believers in Christ.
Some believe the source to be Adam. Others believe it to be Abraham. In this context the “one source” is most likely God.
God has united us to Christ in our humanity.
R.C. Sproul writes that another interpretation of this is that the sanctifier and the sanctified “are of one nature”. Human nature.
As we celebrate the incarnation, it is important to remember that Jesus was completely, 100% human. Now, He is also completely 100% God. This is the hypostatic union. The coming together of the Divine nature and human nature of Jesus Christ.
Why is it important that we recognize the fully human nature of Christ?
It is because that if Jesus is not fully human, then He could not become the perfect sacrifice.
It is really easy, when we think of Jesus, to focus on His deity. After all, He rose from the dead, performed miracles, etc. But we can’t forget about His humanity. How can we demonstrate Jesus’ humanity:
A. He was born.
Just like we were born. I witnessed 2 of my children being born. Many of you have either given birth or watched while your wife gave birth. It is an amazing experience. Jesus entered the world in the same way that you and I did.
B. He “shares in flesh and blood”
Look at verse 14 in our text

14 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

Jesus was flesh and blood. He had skin like we do. He had blood flowing through his veins. Again, verse 14 is just saying that he is human.
C. Jesus had a human soul. Matthew 26:38

38 Then he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me.”

D. Jesus was circumcised on the 8th day according to
E. Jesus increased in wisdom and stature. .
F. What is the shortest verse in the Bible? Jesus wept. John 11:35
Jesus was sad. He had emotions. He was happy, angry. He laughed.
G. Jesus was hungry. Matt: 4:2

2 And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.

18 In the morning, as he was returning to the city, he became hungry

Jesus had an appetite. He hungered.
H. He got thirsty according to . One of the seven things that Jesus said on the cross was “I thirst”.
I. Jesus slept. He rested. Matt. 8:24

And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep

J. Jesus became tired. John 4:6
so Jesus, wearied as he was from his journey, was sitting beside the well. It was about the sixth hour.
K. Jesus died and was buried.
We identify with Christ because we experience or will experience all of those things. We were born. We get hungry and thirsty. Some of you are probably hungry right now!
These normal every day human experiences we have, Jesus had them all too. And it is completely necessary that Jesus was human.

If Jesus Christ is not true God, how could he help us? If he is not true man, how could he help us?

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Think about that.

With the exception of being sinful, everything that can be said about a man can be said about Jesus Christ.

James Montgomery Boice

Because we can identify with Christ in our humanity, we can understand Him. We share things in common with Him.
How can we have hope in this?
We will talk about suffering in a minute. But it should give us hope that Jesus was much like us. Because, if we don’t understand that, then we won’t understand His suffering at all. We don’t understand His life.
Hebrews 4:15 ESV
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.
I heard a preacher say one time “Christ not only died for us, but He lived for us.” To live for 33 years and be tempted as we are and never sin. He did that for us. So that he would be the perfect sacrifice.
Imagine the many many times during the day we are tempted to sin and the times we give in to that temptation. Christ never did that once. Not one time. And it’s not because He didn’t feel the same as we do. That’s what is saying.
This gives us hope. Christ understands us and our temptations.

18 For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted

III. We identify with Christ in our suffering.
We identify with Christ Not only in the regular every day human experience that we have, but also in our times of suffering.
Hebrews 2:18 ESV
For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.
There are some tough experiences in life that we will not understand until we go through them.
This is the difference between sympathy and empathy. When we sympathize with someone, we feel compassion for them and what they are going through. When we empathize with someone, we put ourselves in their shoes. We can do that if we have experienced the same thing or something similar.
Hebrews 5:7–9 ESV
In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence. Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered. And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him,
Philippians 3:13–14 ESV
Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
We can endure suffering because, Jesus endured suffering.
There are things that we will go through in life that we just don’t understand. It doesn’t seem fair. There are dark times in each of our lives. If you haven’t been through such a time, you will.
You will lose someone you are close to. You will go through heartbreak of some kind.
Our hope is that Jesus knows how we feel.
In the Christian life we will suffer. The Bible promises it.
says that Paul told all his young churches, “Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom.” And Jesus said, “If they persecuted me, they will persecute you” (). And Peter said, “Do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you” (). In other words it is not strange; it is to be expected. And Paul said (in ), “Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.”
Now, these verses are in contrast to what the prosperity preachers are preaching.
We will suffer. But the promise for the Christian is that we will not suffer alone.
Christ also has suffered.
In fact, suffering is meant to draw us near to God.
When we think about Jesus and suffering, our mind usually goes to the cross, which is the greatest example of suffering. However, there are many hardships that Jesus faced during his life that we can identify with.
Jesus was hated.
There were people, the Pharisees, for instance who hated him. Have you ever been hated. If you are a Christian and you are speaking the truth of the Scripture to people, it will not be long before you will be hated for it. It doesn’t take much before you will be called names like a bigot just for proclaiming the truth of God’s word. Jesus promises this will happen.

13 And you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved

c. If you are a follower of Christ, be prepared not to be liked by everyone. And it is not our job to try to be liked by everyone. But when we are hated, when we are mocked, we can identify with Christ and know we are not alone.
2. Jesus was lonely.
I love Jon Bloom’s comment of Jesus’ loneliness
Imagine what his childhood was like. He would have been odd, sticking out morally like a sore thumb, never quite fitting in with any group, even his own family.
Even his loving parents wouldn’t have fully understood him. Nor would they have been able to protect him from others’ stinging remarks and maybe cruel mocking over his unsullied strangeness.
Jesus was a sinless person living with sinful parents, sinful siblings, sinful extended relatives and sinful neighbors.
But Jesus’s loneliness reached its apex the moment he became sin for us () on the cross and was “forsaken” by his Father (). First he was estranged by sinlessness and then from being sin. Jesus knew supreme rejection and loneliness.
Are you ever lonely? Jesus was lonely also. He understands your loneliness.
Many people this time of year become very lonely. Jesus understands.
Look to

16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Draw near to Him
Story of my first Christmas in KY
It was a great Christmas with the Lord. As Christians we are never alone. We can, however, identify with Christ who felt lonely at times.
3. Jesus was sad. He grieved loss
He wept at the tomb of Lazarus. He understands loss. If you have lost someone recently, I know this will be a tough Christmas. Jesus understands.
4. Jesus was rejected. He was rejected at Nazareth, his hometown, according to . Jesus enters the synagogue and reads from the prophet Isaiah. Then he proclaims that the scriptures he had read about the Messiah are fulfilled in Himself. And they said, “Is not this Joseph’s son?”

24 And he said, “Truly, I say to you, no prophet is acceptable in his hometown. 25 But in truth, I tell you, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heavens were shut up three years and six months, and a great famine came over all the land, 26 and Elijah was sent to none of them but only to Zarephath, in the land of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow. 27 And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, and none of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.” 28 When they heard these things, all in the synagogue were filled with wrath. 29 And they rose up and drove him out of the town and brought him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built, so that they could throw him down the cliff. 30 But passing through their midst, he went away.

Have you ever been rejected? Maybe in a relationship. Maybe in your career or job. Maybe you have even felt rejected by the church. Jesus understands.
These are just a few of many ways that Jesus suffered on earth before the ultimate pain and suffering He endured on the cross.
What we learn from this text is that Jesus understands our hurt. He understands our pain. He understands our grief. Go to Him in those times.
We can identify with Jesus in our humanity. We can identify with Him in our suffering. And there is a 3rd way we see in this text that only those of us who are in Christ can identify with Him.
IV. We will identify with Christ in our glorification.

10 For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the founder of their salvation perfect through suffering.

Jesus suffered on earth but now suffers no more as He sits at the right hand of the Father crowned with glory and honor.
Because Jesus was human and because He suffered willingly for us, he can and will usher us into heavenly glory with Him
This should be our ultimate hope!
One day we will be glorified. There will be no more sin, suffering death, grief, loneliness, rejection, or sorrow. Only the joy that comes from being eternally in the presence of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
What will that be like?
R.C. Sproul
“I suspect that when my eyes open in heaven, in the first five minutes of my eternity there, I will be absolutely staggered by the sudden increase of understanding that will come to me when I behold the Lamb who was slain and hear angels and archangels singing in my ears “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive glory.”
For those of us who are in Christ, we will be glorified.

16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.

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