Otherwise Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But he has appeared once for all at the culmination of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself. - Hebrews 9:26In this passage we see the wonderful doctrine of the incarnation, "he has appeared once." The condescending of God becoming human was a holy act that happened once. This event will never be repeated though we memorialize and commemorate it. And a few verses later it speaks that "he will appear a second time" to bring the salvation to all his holy ones that have put trust and confidence in the Son of God. As we come nearer to what the Church calendar calls the "Advent" season we have this dual remembrance of his incarnation (first coming) and his bringing salvation to His Church (second coming). Though we can consider there is also a third coming to remember: Bernard of Clairvaux speaks of it in this way, "in the flesh in Bethlehem, in our hearts daily, and in glory at the end of time." Christ is not a impersonal God but comes into the heart of every believer who is baptized and puts their trust in His atoning death.Has he done away with your sin? One who acknowledges his first coming in the "flesh" can experience His cleansing of the heart and then eagerly awaits his final coming to redeem fully those who are His. Christ's death is conclusive, it never needs to be done again. It is final, it remedied the problem of sin and death in the world. It is precious, it is to be adored by saints below and saints above and throughout all ages in heaven. What a valley was filled, a debt repaid, what hope restored through the very death and resurrection of Jesus Christ the Son of God. When we take the cup and bread and celebrate (with great thanksgiving in our hearts) what gratefulness should flow and reverence ensue. Can we over-think or remember the death of Christ too much? God forbid. All of heaven hinges on this, all the heavenly worship centers around this. Your salvation for eternity depends on it. The sacrifice and resurrection of Christ from the dead should be our not just weekly but hourly, minute by minute reminder. Christ died, Christ is risen, Christ is coming again! Amen.
_________________SI Moderator - Greg Gordon