“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).
God made man in His image, with a capacity to enjoy fellowship with Him and to behold and reflect His glory. But sadly, Adam sinned against God and was driven out from His presence; and since then, man has lived in enmity against God. But God, in His infinite grace and mercy, made a promise in the garden, to bring an end to that enmity through the seed of the woman; and in the process of time, He chose a people through whom the promised seed would come; He manifested His power and glory to them, by delivering them from bondage and slavery; but His special presence was reserved for qualified priests, and that only once a year. And then when the fullness of time came, we read: “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us and we beheld his glory…”
This is amazing indeed! God, whom no man can see or approach, has now come to make his dwelling place with us. How is this possible? how does the infinite dwell with the finite, the divine with the human, the holy with the unholy, the one who is all light and truth come into a world of sin and darkness? But that is exactly what God did in sending His Son into the world. The Son, being fully God, emptied Himself of His glory and took on our likeness and came to dwell among us. This is incomprehensible to our finite minds. Two natures, and yet one person. As a man, He hungered and suffered need; he felt pain and sorrow, and learned obedience through suffering. He was tempted in all points as we are, and yet without sin. He was fully dependent upon His Father, in the same way that we are dependent upon Him. This is the mystery of the incarnation. Here we see the wisdom, love, mercy, and grace of God towards us sinners. Christ, the God-man, is the only one suitable to bear the wrath of almighty God for all of our sins, and for all eternity. He alone is qualified to be the “lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” And He alone can represent us to God as our high priest. “Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!… 36 For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen” (Rom 11:33,36).
In light of the incarnation, is there anything that Christ will not do for us? the One who came down from infinite heights and emptied himself of His glory, will He not not give us every grace we need to bring us safely to heaven? Is there any sacrifice that we can make for Christ that would be too great?
Is there any more joyous news that we can share with our fellow men than John 3:16?
May the joy of the incarnation fill our hearts, not only this Christmas season, but every day of the year.