The Word Became Flesh
The few words at the beginning of the Gospel of John, verse 14, the Word (Logos) became flesh and dwelt among us are among the most profound, most mysterious, most precious, most wonderful words that one may come across in the Bible. They speak to enlighten us as to who really is this person that we call our Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ. These words particularly point to the event of His conception and incarnation. Jesus conception was unique, born from a virgin woman and conceived by the power of God. In His incarnation, the Logos, the second person of the Trinitarian God that we worship, added to His eternally existing divine nature that of a human nature. He was already truly divine, yet in becoming flesh, He also became truly human, two natures in the one person of Jesus. All very interesting we might add, hard to get our heads around, but what does it mean. Well the incarnation is really the beginning of redemption within time. By entering His creation God in a sense takes His creation upon himself, He is telling us that our human condition matters enough to him that He is willing to take it upon Himself and to redeem it and us through it. In taking on a truly human nature the process of our restoration has begun. The goal of Christianity is that our human nature might be in relationship with the divine nature and in Jesus the process of a human nature joining and being in intimate relationship with the divine nature has in principle occurred. However, that said the incarnation alone is not redemption because it does not deal with our sin. Yet without an understanding of the incarnation, of who and what Jesus is, and indeed the sinless life that Jesus lived then the atonement that occurred in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus will never make sense. Without an understanding of the incarnation not only will the life of Jesus and the process of redemption be unintelligible but also the purpose of redemption will be misunderstood. If we think only in terms of atonement and the cross, vital as they are, we may simply see salvation as a matter of having my sins paid for, and sometimes little else, but in seeing the incarnation as part of that redemption process we are also brought to understand Gods desire for intimate relationship with humanity to see it transformed and glorified through His power. Christ Jesus came into this world to save sinners. He desires that we might be saved by entering into that saving relationship that can only be found in Jesus and through Jesus. In salvation there are more than legal declarations but also life and relationship. Salvation does not occur in a legal vacuum but only, ever, and always in and through knowing and being in relationship with a person, the Lord Jesus Christ. The incarnation teaches us that our relationship with God matters not only to us but also to Him, and amazingly that it is indeed possible, no matter how undeserved, for humanity to have a meaningful and real relationship with the eternal God through Jesus Christ. The incarnation, is not, and should not be a dry classroom theology but a living vital transforming truth which if not allowed to penetrate our hearts and minds we may miss much of what it means to be united with Christ.
Christmas time is not just a time of tinsel and baubles and turkeys and frivolity but it is a time when we meditate and contemplate one of the most amazing Bible truths that we could ever engage our minds on. A truth or reality that is not for the faint hearted, a truth that will take us to the edges of human understanding, a truth that forever changed the course of history, a life changing truth, a transforming truth, but above all a God glorifying truth.
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see;
Hail the incarnate Deity,
Pleased as man with man to dwell,
Jesus our Emmanuel