The Unfathomable Glory of the Incarnation
Think with me for a moment about how amazing the birth of Jesus truly was and is. Of all the religions in the world, only Christianity claims that the all-powerful, all-knowing Creator of the universe condescended to become one of us and experience our humanity. Indeed for some it is a scandal too ridiculous to be believed. When we meditate on all the ways God astounded us in the birth of Jesus it can only lead us to worship.
First, meditate on the fact that the king of the universe was literally born in a barn. He had no crown or throne. He made his entrance into the world in the most humble way possible, laid in what was likely a feeding trough for animals. He spent his first night in dirty, cold conditions because there was no room for him among his people—a theme that would continue during his adult ministry.
Next, consider the fact that the one who gave life every single person allowed himself to grow and develop in the womb of an unmarried, young girl. The Source of all now had a source himself. As Matt Boswell puts it in his wonderful Christmas hymn, “Maker of Mary now Mary’s son.”* While the eternal Word was uncreated, had existed for all-time, and himself created all things, the person of Jesus had a beginning and was confined to space, time, and a physical body.
Finally, dwell on the fact that the invincible one became helpless. The most powerful being in the world needed to be fed, cleaned, changed, and soothed. The protector of all needed protection. He emptied himself of the glory and power that he had for all eternity and allowed himself to be affected by the powers and weaknesses of those to whom he had given life and breath. The only truly independent being in the universe became completely dependent upon sinful, imperfect people.
The incarnation is one of the most glorious truths in all the world. It would be unfathomable had we not been told about it in Scripture. No one would have ever dreamed up such a wondrous and radical idea. As J.I. Packer once wrote, “Nothing in fiction is so fantastic as the truth of the incarnation.”** Our God, who loves us more than we can ever imagine, chose not only to rescue us, but to identify with us as he did so. I pray that this Christmas the truth of the incarnation would lead us all to worship God and Christ in awe, wonder, and thanksgiving. Merry Christmas!
* 'Sing We the Song of Immanuel' from the Album "Messenger Hymns Advent" by Matt Boswell
** Knowing God, J.I. Packer (published by InterVarsity Press)