I’m sure you have thought about and seen heroes on television or in the movies. You, like me, probably think of a hero as someone who is bigger, stronger, and can do things that we can’t do. Some of the heroes I think of are imaginary like Superman or Spiderman, but some heroes are very real people like firefighters or police officers.
There are many heroes in the Bible too. One of them we read about in the Old Testament. His name was Samson. Even before he was born, an angel said Samson would be heroic, as we read in Judges 13:5, “He shall begin to save Israel from the hand of the Philistines.” Samson was a hero, just like the angel promised: big and strong, doing things ordinary people could never do. For example one time, Samson defeated 30 men all by himself. Another time, Samson used just the jawbone of a donkey as his only weapon. Samson was even able to push a whole building down with his strength! Through Samson, God did many great things for His people, Israel. But Samson also did a lot of things that weren’t heroic at all. He didn’t keep the promises he made to God, he didn’t always obey God’s commandments, and he didn’t always trust God’s Word.
Sometimes, we do those same things. We don’t always keep our promises to God. We don’t always obey God’s commandments. And we don’t always trust God’s Word. We are sinners, just like Samson was, so we need an even greater hero than Samson.
Our forever hero’s name is Jesus. Even before He was born, an angel said that Jesus would be heroic, as we hear in Luke 1:32-33, “He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to Him the throne of His father David, and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.”
Jesus was and is a hero, just like the angel promised. Even when He was a baby, He was the one true God who became a man to save us all. Our hero Jesus kept all His promises, and He obeyed all God’s commandments. He even let Himself be nailed on a cross and die, so we could be saved from our sins. Jesus had all the strength in the world, but He chose to be weak and die in our place because He loved us that much. Jesus is the hero who did what we needed, but we couldn’t do for ourselves. He died and rose again to give us forgiveness and salvation. He is our true hero!
Let’s say a prayer together. Father God, thank You for sending us a real hero in Your Son Jesus. He was brave and strong in ways we never thought about, and He gave up His life for us. Please help us to remember what Jesus did for us, especially this holiday season, and let us be more like Him every day. In Your name we pray, Amen.
(The Advent children’s sermons this year are adapted from the sermon series “What Child is This?” by Ralph Tausz.)
Ann Moody is pastor of Wilkesville First Presbyterian Church and the Middleport First Presbyterian Church.