Okay, hold on just one moment. I know we’re all busy and that this time of year creates all sorts of added responsibilities and distractions, but what is that title again? “God Becomes Man”?…Um…What? Really?
Christmas is the one time of year when the entire world is forced to recognize that something astounding and significant has happened. Yes, I know that the majority of Christmas fuss isn’t about what we call the incarnation, but the truth is that the incarnation itself is so universe-altering that even the most crass commercialism is forced to surrender its cynicism. Words like “hope”, “peace” and “love” appear on shopping bags. Songs extolling the obscure birth of a seemingly illegitimate baby are hummed by shoppers everywhere. All of a sudden even the most hardened Scrooges among us remember friends and family and long to return to a time when what really matters matters: home and faith and selflessness. Something astonishing has happened: God has become man.
Now, if non-Christians respond to the incarnation like this, one might assume that Christians who understand the reality beneath the holiday shadow would be transformed by the truth of the incarnation every day…but are we? Are we shocked when we see the baby in the manger? Do we shake our heads in wonder? Or, have we left the incarnation, what He’s done, behind and focused in on what we’re supposed to do? If that’s the case with you, here are a few thoughts to help you remember what the incarnation means about you, about Him:
- The incarnation shows us how weak we are: After all, how much power and influence does an infant have? And yet, He’s the Savior we needed
- The name of that incarnate baby, “Jesus” shows us our true need: We need a Savior from our sin, not moral reform. We need a Rescuer, not a self-help guru (Matthew 1:21).
- The incarnation shows us that in every way He’s just like us. He suffered as an infant. He’s been tempted in every way just as we have, yet without sin. He knows what it is to be cold, to be dependent, to die…yes, even to live again.
- The incarnation tells us that Christmas isn’t ever over. When we’ve packed up all the decorations and taken back all the mistaken gifts, he’ll still be the God/Man, interceding for us, bearing our flesh. Christmas will never end for Jesus: He’s eternally transformed.
- The incarnation means that the only person who is qualified by His nature and life to pay for our sins has done so. The incarnation was always meant to lead him, to lead us, to the cross.
- The incarnation means that we have fulfilled all the Law. Because we are united with him and he with us, we have loved God and our neighbor perfectly, because he has. We’re righteous because the God-Man has already done everything that needed to be done. We’re justified.
- The incarnation means that when we enter heaven we’ll be greeted by Someone who is just like us, but with nail-scarred hands and feet. He’ll be the only one there with scars.
The Christmas story is ultimately a story about what Jesus has already done for us. It’s His story about His work accomplished because of His love for His bride. Let’s ask God to help us celebrate Christmas, the incarnation, all year, shall we? He’s done it all. We’re loved. What an astounding gift!
Elyse blogs at elysefitzpatrick.com.