My Sunday School lesson last week concluded with some questions about the Incarnation:
Consider the remarkable truth that God becomes a human being in Jesus Christ. How do you respond to that fact? Does it still have power to amaze you? Is it so familiar to you that it has little impact?
It is a sad fact of our human nature that our hearts often grow dull. We don’t feel the force of truth as we should. In order to combat that tendency we need to meditate deeply on the stunning realities of Scripture. The incarnation is exactly that sort of reality. The new The ESV Study Bible, commenting on John 1:14, says,
This is the most amazing event in all of history: the eternal, omnipotent, omnipresent, infinitely holy Son of God took on a human nature and lived among humanity as one who was both God and man at the same time, in one person.
“The most amazing event in all of history”–that’s quite a statement, but I believe it’s true. In the words of John Stott, “The paradox is amazing. The Creator assumes the human frailty of his creatures. The Eternal One enters time. The all-powerful makes himself vulnerable. The all-holy exposes himself to temptation. And in the end the immortal dies.”
What would happen if we truly grasped the profound significance of the Incarnation?
We must both read and meditate upon the Nativity. If the meditation does not reach the heart, we shall sense no sweetness, nor shall we know what solace for humankind lies in this contemplation. The heart will not laugh nor be merry. As spray does not touch the deep, so mere meditation will not quiet the heart. There is such richness and goodness in this Nativity that if we should see and deeply understand, we should be dissolved in perpetual joy…
This is the word of the prophet: “Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given” (Isaiah 9:6). This is for us the hardest point, not so much to believe that He is the son of the Virgin and God himself, as to believe that this Son of God is ours. That is where we wilt, but he who does feel it has become another man (from Martin Luther’s Christmas Book).
Merry Christmas. My hope is that all who read these words would find in Christ, this very day, a Savior from the terrible power and penalty of their own sin; and so find themselves “dissolved in perpetual joy.”