How do you respond when someone walks in the door of your home? Your response will vary depending on who it is. If it’s your spouse or roommate, you might look up from your phone and ask how their day went. If it’s a grown child who’s returning home for the holidays, that moment will be much more significant and joyful. If it’s a stranger in a ski mask, the experience would be terrifying.
We celebrate Christmas because of who Jesus is. The One whose arrival we celebrate is the Christ, the long-awaited Messiah, the everlasting Lord veiled in human flesh, as we see in verse 2 of “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing”:
“Christ, by highest heaven adored, Christ, the everlasting Lord,
Late in time behold him come, offspring of the Virgin’s womb.
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see, hail the incarnate Deity,
Pleased as man with men to dwell, Jesus, our Immanuel.
Hark! the herald angels sing, ‘Glory to the newborn King.’”
Take a moment to wonder at this truth: the One who was adored in heaven as the everlasting Lord took on flesh in the womb of a young virgin and was born in a stable. Babies are born every second of every day—but this baby was God incarnate.
The incarnation of Jesus refers to God the Son taking on human flesh so that He was fully human and fully God. We see this truth expressed in John’s gospel:
“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)
Because Jesus was fully God and fully man, His birth was unlike any other birth in the history of the world. As the Nicene Creed states, Jesus was “begotten of the Father . . .begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father . . .” The One who took on flesh was God, and therefore He is worthy of our worship and praise. His birth in a stable—His coming to a world that desperately needed a Savior—gives us reason to sing, “Glory to the newborn King!”
No matter what you face this week, celebrate Jesus Christ, the everlasting Lord who took on flesh and dwelt among us.Share