“And the word was made flesh, and dwelt among us (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father) full of grace and truth”—John 1:14.
Perhaps to many the incarnation of Christ, is the greatest mystery of the entire Bible, the one fact hardest to understand, and yet the one truth most essential to man’s salvation. Anyone who denies that Christ came in the flesh, is antichrist—II John 7. We ponder the great mystery as to how God could be made manifest in the flesh. The difficulty of believing this fact lies not in any unreasonableness of what is revealed, but in man’s incapacity of understanding the working of God’s infinite mind. If we believe in God, we must likewise believe that God’s power is unlimited. With the prophet we can say, “Ah Lord God, thou hast made the heavens and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee”—Jeremiah 32:17. We behold mysteries every day, yet give them little thought. What could be a seemingly greater mystery than when we eat a dish of vegetables, those vegetables are, in a matter of hours, turned into human flesh and blood. The same grass which a cow eats which is turned into milk for human consumption, also causes the bony structure to grow which we call horns. We should not reject a thing because our little minds may not comprehend it. Nothing can be harder to believe than that this great universe, of which we are a very small part, could exist without the creative power of God. If God could speak the great worlds into existence, it certainly would not be impossible for him to send his Son into the world clothed with the flesh of humanity. This is the great fundamental fact of the Bible. Believing this to be a fact, we may rightfully search for the purpose God had in sending his Son into the world in the form of the Babe of Bethlehem. Just what are the revealed purposes of God in this matter?
- 1st. Christ became a man in order that he might reveal God to man. Moses once wanted to see the face of God, but the Lord said, “No man can see my face and live”—Exodus 33:18-20. If the light of the sun at noonday is too bright for the endurance of our eyes, how much more would be the brightness of God’s glory? Yet it is important that man should know God if man is to render homage and service to the Author of his being. One time Jesus was teaching his disciples about the Father. One of the disciples, Philip, spoke up saying, “Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us.” His desire to see God was reasonable and understandable; and it is perhaps the universal desire of the majority of mankind. Jesus said to Philip, “Have I been so long time with you, and yet thou hast not known me Philip? He that hath seen me, hath seen the Father”—John 14:8, 9. The appearance of God as to form and shape matters little. But to know the attributes of God, his love, compassion and mercy, is to know the real God. That is what Jesus in the flesh revealed. The record of Jesus’ life as written by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John is a revelation of God’s personality.The marvel of Jesus’ life and teaching has been the world’s greatest wonder. His high idealism and absolute purity is the marvel of the ages. If one would know what God thinks and plans, let that one read carefully the life of Jesus Christ, and he then will know God.
- 2nd. Jesus was manifested in the flesh that he might be a perfect example for man. Man in sin has wandered far from God. And in order to get back to God, man must have a leader, one who can point the way by precept and example. The life which meets with God’s approval, was perfectly exemplified in the person of Christ. Pilate’s decision, “I find in him no fault at all” is the universal decision of all who have carefully studied the record of his life. Tempted in all points as we are, yet he resisted every effort of Satan, and lived a life of spotless, unblemished purity while on earth. That life lived amid manifold temptations and persecutions reveals to all mankind a science of right living. His deep interest in the welfare of all mankind, his evident sympathy for all in trouble, and his unselfishness in ministering to the needs of the hungry, the sick, and all in sorrow is a revelation of the character of an 0- loving, and merciful Father. Jesus never retraced a step nor retracted a word. He went through every experience that a man is subject to, without once stumbling into error. That life of his is our example to follow. “For even hereunto were ye called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example that we should follow his steps”—I Peter 2:21. In a word- Jesus taught men how to live by the way he lived, and the noblest accomplishment of all time is to learn to live according to the high idealism of Jesus Christ.
- 3rd. Jesus became man that he might be a perfect High Priest. The work of a priest is to stand between sinful man and an offended God. He must mediate the difference between the two, because man in sin cannot approach God. Paul said, “For verily he took not on him the nature of angels- But he took on him the seed of Abraham. Wherefore in all things it behoove him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that he himself suffered being tempted, he is able to succor them that are tempted”—Hebrews 2:17,18. Perfect God and Perfect Man! He who would atone for the sins of others must understand the frailties of man, as well as the stern justice of God. He who had no sin, took upon himself the sins of the whole world. “The wages of sin is death”—Romans 3:23 and because all had sinned, the world of mankind was doomed: but Christ, the Perfect One, paid our debt to God. God made him “to be sin for us, who knew no sins, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him”—II Corinthians 5:21. Truly, we need no other priest but Christ. The God who became man, helps man to become like God.
~ Roy Loney