Throughout this season when the birth of the Son of God has been celebrated around the world, by saints and sinners alike, I have been impressed more than ever by how profound an event was the Incarnation.
It is beyond human comprehension that Almighty God, the Creator of the Universe, the Source and Cause of all that is, should choose to incarnate Himself – that is, to assume a human bodily form and condition – especially that of a helpless infant.
John wrote “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing that exists came into being.” (John 1:1-4 Weymouth)
In his letter to the Church at Philippi, Paul continued the story, that “Christ Jesus…being in the form of God, counted not the being on an equality with God a thing to be grasped; but made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a bondservamt, and was made in the likeness of men.” In other words, He laid aside His Divinity, and allowed Himself to be confined to a human body, even that of a newborn baby! (Phil. 2:6-8)
Before His birth into the human condition, both Mary and Joseph were instructed to call His name “Jesus” indicating that He would be a Savior, to save His people from their sins; also “Emmanuel” meaning, “God with us.” (Luke 1:30-33; Matt. 1:20-23; also Isa. 7:14)
In the fullness of time, Jesus humbly stripped Himself of His Glory, and took on Himself the nature of a bondservant by becoming a man like other men. And so “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us (and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father), full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)
Though “in Him was Life, and that Life was the Light of men…” He humbled Himself further and even submitted to death. But not an ordinary death! Rather, the most ignominious, shameful death of crucifixion on a Roman cross!
As we know, that was not the end of the story; it was only the beginning. For “…The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overpowered it.” (John 1:4,5)
Death could not defeat Him!
The grave could not hold Him!
The darkness could not extinguish the Light!
So, “we behold Jesus, (Who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death,) crowned with glory and honor; that He, by the grace of God, should taste death for every man. For it became Him, for Whom are all things, and by Whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the author of their salvation perfect through sufferings.”
As believers, we are among those “many sons” who have been born into God’s family through faith in His Name. Though, as yet, the world cannot receive the Spirit of Truth, “for it beholds Him not, neither knows Him,” we know Him, for He abides, not only with us, but in us, as He promised. With the outpouring of His Holy Spirit, Christ now indwells all who have been born of His Spirit. (John 14:16-20; Gal. 2:20)
As the result of His obedience to the Father’s will, God highly exalted Him, and conferred on Him the Name which is supreme above every other name. It is at His name – the name of Jesus, “that every knee shall bow, in heaven, and in earth, and under the earth, and that every tongue shall confess that He is Lord.” (Phil. 2:8-11)
While we await the fulfillment of that marvelous promise, we are instructed to let His mind be in us; an attitude of humility and obedience to the will of our Heavenly Father. May this be our goal as we begin another new year of living the Christ Life.
“The reward of humility and the fear of Jehovah is
riches, and honor, and life.”
“Seeing you have purified your souls in your obedience to the truth
unto unfeigned love of the brethren,
love one another from the heart fervently.”
(1 Peter 1:22)