Monday, December 25, 2023

The Glorious Incarnation (Isaiah 9:1-7)

"For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given" (Isa. 9:6).

Today we celebrate the incarnation of Christ, that event which occurred in the fullness of time wherein God’s power was most magnificently displayed. In Jonathan Edwards’ sermon The Excellency of Christ, he proclaims the glories of the incarnation by describing the mysterious union of God’s power and humility in the person of Christ. In His person, “infinite highness” meets “infinite condescension.” “He is higher than the kings of the earth; for He is King of kings, and Lord of lords. He is higher than the heavens, and higher than the highest angels of heaven,” Edwards wrote. “So great is He, that all men, all kings and princes, are as worms of the dust before Him; all nations are as the drop of the bucket, and the light dust of the balance; and angels themselves are as nothing before Him. He is so high, that He is infinitely above any need of us; above our reach, that we cannot be profitable to Him; and above our conceptions, that we cannot comprehend Him.”

Yet, this same Christ humbled Himself by taking on human nature with all its frailties and sorrows, but without sin. God who is greater than all condescended to walk among men and to be their friend, “to become their companion, to unite their souls to Him in spiritual marriage,” Edwards wrote. By His mighty hand, He took human nature upon Himself, to become one of them, that He may be one with them. So great was His humiliation that He abased Himself, even to be exposed to shame and ridicule; “to yield up Himself to an ignominious death for them. And what act of condescension can be conceived of greater? Yet such an act as this, has His condescension yielded to, for those that are so low and mean, despicable and unworthy!”

The incarnation holds the greatest mysteries of God’s infinite power and wisdom. The God who proclaimed Himself to Job as all-powerful and all-knowing, came into this world as a helpless infant. The King of kings took on human flesh for the salvation of those He loved; He suffered the trials, injustices, temptations, and sorrows of this world; He exchanged His crown of glory for a crown of thorns so that His people would be freed from the bondage of sin and reconciled to their loving, gracious, and sovereign Lord.

Meditate on John 1:1–18 today. Celebrate Christmas for sure, but do not allow the traditions of Christmas to distract you from your worship of God. Meditate on the revelation of God’s grace and power in the incarnation. Spend time in prayer today, praising God for taking on human flesh and for your salvation that comes through Christ.