“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”
John 1:14 NKJV
The gospel of Christ and His finished work will always be foolishness to the world system (1 Corinthians 1:23-24). It sounds preposterous that the sovereign God of the universe will reduce Himself to an ordinary mortal and identify with us in our fallibility and weaknesses. The human concept of God is that of an almighty creator whose presence engulfs the entirety of His vast and incomprehensible creation that is beyond our wildest imagination. How a mortal man no matter how powerful can claim to be that sovereign and be trusted by some beggars belief. At best it is nonsense and at its worst sheer mockery of the idea of a sovereign Lord over the universe. Yet, to reduce God and His ways to such an object of human explanation and comprehension is to miss the pathway to eternal truth. God and His ways cannot be analyzed , He can only be revealed. In that revelation is life transforming power.
It was the late Dr Billy Graham, who as an evangelist spoke face to face to more human beings about the gospel of Christ than anyone else in church history who often illustrated the incarnation of Christ with the story of a man observing a swarm of ants busy about their daily business but oblivious of impending danger. Since ants cannot hear human language, the only way he would communicate with them is to become an ant like them if he had the power. In the incarnation of Christ, we see divinity humbled Himself to share our common humanity in order to reveal Himself to us. It is in Christ we are able to catch glimpses of divine glory. The invisible God came near in the form we can relate to. The massive gulf between the divine and the human was not only narrowed but collapsed. God never intended such a distance but sin created it. Ever since the fall of man, God has become a mystery, unexplained wonder and even unknowable being. In the incarnation of Christ, His character and power are revealed and so is His will(Hebrews 10:7). His Kingdom was not only announced by the messiah, it was demonstrated through holiness of character, healing of the sick, the liberation of captives, the feeding of the poor, the raising of the dead and other miracles.
God came down through Emmanuel so He can offer His earthly body to Himself as a sin offering(2 Corinthians 5:17). Since the entrance of sin into the world(Romans 5:12), all mortals are born with the nature of sin(Psalm 51:5). God established a Passover sacrificial system where a clean lamb offered to him exchanges his cleanliness for the sinfulness of the offerer. Such sacrifices provided temporary redemption that only lasted a year. Christ was made our Passover lamb on the cross of Calvary (1 Corinthians 5:7), so that as the lambs substituted the offerers, so did Christ die in our place and exchanged His righteousness for our sins. The sinless Christ was accounted sinful on the cross with our sins so we can be accounted sinless(2 Corinthians 5:21). No mortal man could have stood in the place of man like that as all have sinned(Romans 3:10). God had to come down in human likeness in order to be a perfect sacrifice for our sins. As a result of identifying with us, we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses. He sat where we sit today and understands what it means to be human and to be tempted. As a high priest of Israel represented the people before God, Christ our High Priest represents us perfectly as one who had a human experience, although never lost his divine nature.
It has been God’s plan from the beginning to live in and through human beings. He delegated His authority on earth to man so He can rule through him and not directly. Christ on earth showed us a pattern of living as the temple of God. By His sacrifice on the cross and the purging of our sins, God is able to live in us and through us by His Spirit. It is no longer I but Christ that lives through me said Paul(Philippians 1:21). According to him. Christ is our life(Colossians 3:3-4). His incarnation and redemptive work opened the way for us to be temples of the living God. The unique relationship Christ had with His father while on earth, praying earnestly to Him, depending on Him, obeying Him and trusting Him has demonstrated a pattern for us of how to live by the life of our Heavenly Father within us.
The height of Christ’s incarnation and subsequent redemptive work for us is found in His Ascension to heaven. Having received us into Himself by our baptism into Him, He sat down at the right Hand of majesty on high with ourselves seated with Him. Today, when you gaze in spirit at the Godhead, you discover a man there. Yes, He is the Son of God but He remains the Son of man too, and in Him, you and I are found. Divinity and humanity are united in perfect harmony in Christ. The redeemed soul is accepted in the beloved and is therefore loved with the same love shared by the trinity(Ephesians 1:5-6). This awesome privilege is mind blowing but is the truth. The son of God became the son of man, that the sons of men might become the sons of God.