God incarnate

The Standard December 4, 2019

Perhaps the most profound mystery throughout all of human history is the astonishing fact that God came down in human form and took on flesh to walk among us and to provide the way to God. Amidst the whirl of the Christmas season it is especially important to take time to ponder the breadth and length and height of this ineffable or too-amazing-for-words gift, which is Jesus, God Incarnate.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.” (John 1:1-3) “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:4)

“The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.” (Colossians 1: 15-20)

J.I. Packer writes, “The supreme mystery with which the Gospel confronts us lies not in the Good Friday message of atonement, nor in the Easter message of resurrection, but in the Christmas message of Incarnation. The really staggering Christian claim is that Jesus of Nazareth was God made man – that the second person of the Godhead became the ‘second man’ (1 Corinthians 15:47), determining human destiny. The second representative head of the race took on humanity without loss of deity, so that Jesus of Nazareth was as truly and fully divine as he was human. Here are two mysteries for the price of one – the plurality of persons within the unity of God, and the union of Godhead and manhood in the person of Jesus. It is here, in the thing that happened at the first Christmas, that the profoundest and most unfathomable depths of the Christian revelation lie.”

How could words ever adequately convey the glorious consequences of the Incarnation of Christ? Even if we can’t describe it sufficiently, may we revel in the life-changing impact of God among us this Christmas season.

 

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