He Became One Of Us
The faith that arises from the Word of God tells us that two thousand years ago, God, in order to make possible the gift of salvation to all people, became a human being. He, as it were, crawled into human history as a baby. The mystery and majesty of that truth is beyond our ability to fully grasp. He, like all babies, couldn’t care for Himself…couldn’t feed, clean or transport Himself. He came here and lived life on our terms. He was nursed by a mother. He learned to walk the way all babies do…trial and error, bumps, bawling and bruises. He had to eat His vegetables too. As He grew He had family and community obligations laid upon Him. He played with friends from His village and learned the family trade. He went to church and learned the Old Testament, a book He had Himself written. In life, He came to know sorrow, hardship, loneliness, deprivation, hunger, thirst, weariness, compassion, anger, sacrifice, and the full power of temptation which we humans face in life. In fact He experienced even more pressure from temptation than we do, because He never, not even once, caved in to it. This truth regarding His victory over sin and temptation is the only way He was unlike us in our humanity. Since Jesus was God being fully human, obviously there were other ways in which He was unlike us. Though being human limited His God-hood, there were ways and times when His God-qualities shone through…His ability to know the hearts of humans, His power over nature, disease, demons and death, for instances. His public ministry began when He was thirty years old. If I were to pick three words only to describe that ministry, I think they would be: Truth, Love and Helpfulness. The Prince of Heaven came to earth to be a servant to others. I love these words about Jesus, penned by Graham Kendrick, in a selection called “Meekness and Majesty”:
Meekness and majesty, human and deity, in
perfect harmony the One Who is God.
Lord of eternity dwells in humanity, kneels in
humility and washes our feet.
Wisdom unsearchable, God the invisible, love
indestructible in frailty appears,
Lord of infinity, stooping so tenderly lifts our
humanity to the heights of His throne.
O what a mystery. Meekness and majesty. Bow
down and worship, for this is your God.
There were many purposes involved in Christ’s incarnation, but the principle goal was that He, the only non-sinning human who ever lived, might offer Himself to die as an atoning sacrifice for all of us sinners (please see Hebrews 2:14-15). The God Who became one of us did, in that amazing act, tell us, at least, these things: 1) that He was unwilling to give up on us; 2) that He was willing to give up heaven’s greatest treasure for us; 3) that He wants us with Him; 4) that true life is not about self, but about service and sacrifice; 5) that learning Who our Father really is as we see Him in Jesus is life’s greatest quest; 6) that Jesus Christ is “the way, the truth and the life” and that no one comes to God except through Him; 7) that we do not have to live any longer in darkness and fear; 8) that we are not in this alone; 9) that no matter what our circumstances in this life, Christians have “joy unspeakable and full of glory” in the God Who became one of us. Merry Christmas! and Merry Incarnation!