When the fullness of the time came, God sent his Son born of a woman….” Galatians 4:4
A few years ago a secular singer named Joan Osborne wrote and sang a popular song, “One of Us,” which asked the question, “What if God were one of us?”
I found this song riveting. Although the theology was way off, a plea was made, seeking to know why we exist. Where is God in all of this life, and what if He lived my life? The answer of course is yes, Joan, God is one of us, or at least was. That is what the incarnation is all about.
The incarnation simply means God came to be a man. He was fully man while remaining fully God. That way He could identify with our plight in life. As He lived a normal human existence for over 30 years, He experienced all that we experienced, including all the emotions, relationships, and temptations.
He drove nails as He worked with His earthly father. He obeyed His earthly mother when she asked Him to take out the trash. He played, He worked, and He lived the life of a man, a human being, with all that we have in our makeup that makes us human. He went to sleep at night, and awoke to a normal life with all of the stresses and opportunities a human could have in the first century.
Therefore, we can never say to Him, Hey, God, You do not understand my situation or me! He does indeed understand. He has indeed been where we are. He may not have gone to high school in Burbank, driven a car, programmed a VCR, or held a job in a cubical with an annoying boss, but He has experienced all that is important in life that we experience and wonder about!
We need to have a grasp on who we are in Christ, and who Christ is. This is the foundation of being a Christian.
Who is He? What did He do for me? What is my role and purpose? These themes stand out as we celebrate Christmas, because Christmas is the celebration of what we call the incarnation, that is, that Christ, being fully God Who created the universe, Who always existed, chose to come down to us, to be one of us.
Consider what you may have learned in school, especially in science, since science demands that every event must have a cause. Science demands the classic if/then statement in logic and reasoning. If it is raining, then it must be cloudy. If you are a Christian, then you have been saved. That event had a cause. If you sinned and you are saved, then you received some kind of a miracle. The cause of sin itself (original sin as well as our willful disobedience) creates the ultimate need of our salvation.
Then comes the other cause of our being a Christian, and that is a Redeemer Who was necessary to save us. God, Who was one of us, lived in this world and in its sin. Yet, Christ remained sinless. He did not concede to the temptation thereby enabling us to be saved so that we would not be lost forever. Then, comes the if of the logical equation of we humans in temptation, and sin, which is in need. The if is the presence of a sinless man in the midst of a universally sinful human race. It all comes down to the cause for which we celebrate, which is the Christmas miracle. That miracle happened, the incarnation happened, for our salvation. So, why have the Incarnation? Why have a Virgin Birth?
Because such a person as Jesus Christ demanded it! This was a special birth that, as the Gospels record, showed us His Divine nature.
The HOW of the birth becomes believable when the WHO of the birth is taken into account. We, as humans, are all born into, and with, original sin. By skipping the original sin, Christ became the second Adam (more precisely the first, since He is preexistent). As Adam represented all of humanity in the fall, Christ represented all of humanity in the redemption. Christ needed to be isolated from the original sin so it would not affect Him, so He could do what Adam could not do which was to remain sinless. If this had not been so, then the unique Jesus, who was born as one of us, would have created an unapproachable hurdle without the Virgin Birth. He would be unable, as we know it, to overcome the original sin that plagues us all. Would not the pre-existence of Christ necessitate such a miracle birth? Perhaps He could have come in some other way. We just do not know all of the options. But, if He had, then He would not have been one of us!
However, if we do not accept that Jesus was born special and unique, then we cannot accept that He is God. The incarnate Son of God is pure and holy and thus cannot touch sin. If He did, then He would be corrupted and unable to take our place by living a sin free life. He would be unable to save us.
More here: http://70030.netministry.com/apps/articles/default.asp?articleid=32333&columnid=3844
(c) 2001 Rev. R.J. Krejcir
Have a very merry Christmas, and do not forget the Christ in the Christmas!