Last Sunday, I preached a sermon on Jesus as the Son of Man/Son of Mary. It is the second part of a series that takes Isaiah 9:6, "Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given...." as its theme. The first message was on Jesus the Son of God. It focused on the deity of Christ (after all, in Isa. 9:7, he is called "The Mighty God"). In our last message, however, we focused on the humanity of Christ.
You cannot talk about the humanity of Christ without talking about the incarnation. When theologians say "incarnation" with reference to Christ, they are referring to the event which brought the Son of God into the world to become a man. It is often called a "miracle," and so it is! This miracle is summed up in the words of John 1:14, "The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us."
But it is important to see where the miracle is. I think a lot of people probably think that the "miracle" of the incarnation is the virgin birth. But that would be wrong. Though the virgin birth is a miracle, that was really not a big deal in the grand scheme of things. The big deal is the fact that the infinite Word became finite flesh. The big deal is that the Son of God became man, "and so was, and continueth to be, God and man, in two distinct natures, and one person forever" (Westminster Shorter Catechism).
We will never understand how this happened or how it came to be. It is a mystery, a mighty miracle. God became man, truly man, without ever ceasing to be God. "Remaining what he was, he became what he was not." I do not understand it, but I believe it. My salvation hangs upon it. Yours does, too.
Why? Because I am a sinner, a traitor before God, and I cannot purge my sins. If my sins are to be taken away, someone else must do it for me. A mediator between God and man. But only another man can be my substitute, and only God can purge my sins. That is why the only Redeemer of God's elect is the Lord Jesus Christ, the God-man.
So I can understand why Wayne Grudem has called the incarnation the greatest miracle in the Bible, greater than the resurrection and greater even than the creation of the universe. And when we celebrate Christmas, we are celebrating the mightiest mystery and greatest miracle in the world.
Monday, December 10, 2012
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