Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Word Became Flesh

As Christmas approaches may we take the time to reflect on the significance of the birth of Christ.  I hope this is not the only time of the year we reflect on this most important reality.  But may we also remember that this birth is not the creation of Jesus.  Yes his birth reminds us of the fact that he came down to live as a servant in this world.  He truly did take on humanity.  But this was not the beginning of Jesus.  Many people think this is when Jesus was created rather than celebrating the truth that God has come in the flesh.  We even sing about this truth when we sing the name: Immanuel.

"Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel (which means, God with us)" (Matthew 1:23)

This is why I love this time of the year because it almost becomes common for people to talk about the birth of Christ.  They may not fully understand the significance of the event but none the less they speak and sing about God coming in human flesh.  Sadly their are some in the "Christian" realm who also deny this grand truth but the Bible is clear about who Jesus is.

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was in the beginning with God.  All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made." (John 1:1-3)

So what does this have to do with Jesus?  John is talking about "the Word."  That is true but notice how he speaks about "the Word" in verses two and three: "He", "him", "him".  "The Word" is obviously speaking about a person.  Who is this person?

"And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth." (John 1:14)

"The Word" is Jesus Christ.  He was the One in the beginning with God and he is God.  "All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made."  How could everything be made through him if he was just created at his birth?  Paul helps us see why Christ came into the world in human form:

"[Christ], though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.  And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross." (Phil. 2:6-8)

Christ humbly came to live in the world he created with the people he created in order to humbly die a substitutionary death for their sins.  The baby born in Bethlehem is the hope for sinners like you and me.  I would be more accurate to say he is the only hope for sinners.  Christ came to rescue us from his wrath.  Maybe I could end with these words:

"Hark!  The herald angels sing
'Glory to the newborn King
Peace on earth, and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled!"

Grace upon grace,
JRL

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