God the Son Becomes a Man
"The Mystery, and Wonder found through the Incarnation of Jesus Christ.
The mystery of God the Son becoming a human being is what we call the Incarnation (incarnate means "endowed with a human body" or "to take on a bodily form"). This is an amazing miracle filled with theological mystery, irony, and wonder. The Incarnation reveals the incomprehensible reality of God as well as the simplicity and relevance of the gospel message of Jesus Christ. We also see the great contrast between the purity and love of God compared to the evil and hatred in this world, the power and glory of God manifest amidst the weakness of Christ's humanity and voluntary surrender of His life, as well as the humility and servanthood of Christ amidst the arrogance and exploitation of man. As we meditate on the Incarnation and all that it includes (His birth, life, ministry, suffering, death, exaltation, and second coming), may we be moved to a deeper adoration of Jesus Christ and obedience to His gospel.
The Birth of Christ
Through Jesus Christ: the Eternal God steps into time; the God who is Spirit becomes flesh; the God through whom all people were created is formed in the womb; the Everywhere-Present God is confined to a human body; the God of the new birth is born of the virgin Mary; the God whose glory fills the earth is laid in a manger; the Christ-child who is born in relative obscurity is worshipped by magi from the east and angels from above; the God who is born a Jew is a light for the Gentiles; the God who brings peace to the earth is threatened by the murderous plots of kings; the God who escapes during the darkness of night is the light of the world; the God of the old covenant tabernacles among us.
The Life of Christ
Through Jesus Christ: the All-Knowing God grows in wisdom; the revelation of the Triune God is manifest in the life of one man; the God who dwells in unapproachable light walks among men and receives little children unto Himself; the God who we cannot see is touched by humans; the God who cannot be tempted is subjected to temptation; the All-Powerful God experiences weakness; the God of holiness fellowships with sinners; the God who owns a cattle on a thousand hills has no place to lay His head; the All-Sufficient God becomes the Man of Sorrows.
The Ministry of Christ
Through Jesus Christ: the God who is without sin submits to a baptism of repentance; the God who holds all things together is empowered by the Holy Spirit; the God who is rich personifies the gospel to the poor; the God who humbles Himself to become a man exalts women living in a man's world; our High Priest who enters the most holy place eats with tax collectors and prostitutes; the Son of Man who is obeyed by the wind and waves is doubted by His disciples; the God who fasts for forty days gives bread to those who hunger; the God who is arrested and bound sets the prisoners free; the Rabbi who endures our condemnation protects those who are condemned; the Teacher who gives up His life brings back to life those who are dead; the God who is Lord over time waits for His time to come.
The Suffering of Christ
Through Jesus Christ: the Forever-Faithful God who befriends humanity is betrayed, abandoned and denied by His friends; the God of consuming fire surrenders to His enemies; the LORD of the Scriptures submits to Scripture's authority; the One for whom the world was created is rejected and condemned by this world; the God who cannot lie is falsely accused; the long-awaited Messiah is suddenly condemned as a criminal; the image of the Invisible God is beaten beyond recognition; the radiance of the glory of God is humiliated by a repulsive world; the God who spoke the universe into existence speaks not a word in His own defense; the completely loyal & submissive Son of God is forsaken by His eternally faithful & loving Father; the perfect Son of God is made perfect through obedience and suffering; the God of uncontainable glory bears our shame; the Son of Man transfigured into a blinding-white light is the God who is drenched in His own red blood.
The Death of Christ
Through Jesus Christ: the Son of God who is anointed and endorsed from on high is tried & convicted by those from below; the Just and Innocent God who judges the living and the dead is sentenced to death by those who are guilty; the Imperishable God is crucified by those who are perishing; the God who clothes the lilies of the field hangs naked between two thieves; the God who breathed life into man gives up His last breath; the God who knew no sin becomes sin for us; the God who took the lives of the first-born sons becomes the Passover Lamb; the God of justice takes our penalty upon Himself; the Almighty God triumphs over the devil by laying down His own life; the Author of life dies on a cross; the God of eternal life is laid to rest in the grave; the King of Israel is buried in another man's tomb; the God of glorious riches leaves behind no inheritance; the God to whom all things belong buys us back with His own blood.
The Exaltation of Christ
Through Jesus Christ: the Ever-Living God comes back to life; the Immortal-Invisible God is seen bodily-resurrected from the dead; the Shepherd for the lost sheep of Israel sends forth the gospel to the whole world; the God who leaves this world largely rejected and unrecognized will return to be worshipped by every nation, tribe, people, and language; the God who reigns on high ascends back to heaven; the God who sits at the right hand of Majesty lives within me; the God who we scourged and crucified speaks to the Father in our defense; the God who forgives those who mocked and killed Him waits for His enemies to be made a footstool for His feet.
The Second Coming of Christ
Through Jesus Christ: the God who is with us is coming back in power and great glory for us; the God who rode on a donkey into the hands of His captors will come riding back on a white horse with the armies of heaven behind Him; the God who fulfilled the law through weakness and humility will overthrow the man of lawlessness by the splendor of His coming; "the Christ" who "was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people will appear a second time to bring salvation to those who are waiting for Him;" the Crucified-Savior who imputed righteousness and satisfied divine justice thru the cross will return as the Conquering-King with righteousness and justice as the foundation of His throne; "the Son of God" who came the first time to save the world will come back the second time as Judge of the living and the dead; the One whose kingdom was not of this world will usher in his Kingdom during the Messianic age to come; "Jesus of Nazareth" who walked the earth for thirty years will be glorified on the Judgment Day as the Name above all names; the God whose Word will destroy the present heavens and earth with fire will fulfill His Word by ushering in a New Heaven and Earth that shall endure for all time; "the Son of Man" who manifested Himself for three years as the Suffering-Servant will reign forever as the King of kings; the God who was humiliated outside the gate of the city marked for destruction will usher in a New Jerusalem in which His glory will forever shine; and "Jesus Christ," the Carpenter's Son, who was nailed to a cross for will be worshipped for all eternity as the Lord of lords.