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The Mystery

The mystery of the humanity of Christ, that He sunk Himself into our flesh, is beyond all human understanding.

– Martin Luther

This one is a riddle you’ll never solve, a puzzle you can’t work out, a mystery that will remain a mystery’. And you know what, he’s absolutely right. In many ways we will never ‘understand’ how God became man, for that is what we’re talking about – God becoming human. We will never fully comprehend this or be able to work out how it is possible, but just because we may never solve it in a nice neat package of logic, does not mean we should not try to understand it all or, more importantly, appreciate its brilliance.

What do you think the most amazing miracle in the Bible is? Walking on water? Feeding of the 5000? Calming the storm or the resurrection perhaps? Wayne Grudem says this about the incarnation, “It is by far the most amazing miracle of the entire Bible – far more amazing than the resurrection and more amazing even than the creation of the universe. The fact that the infinite, omnipotent, eternal Son of God could become man and join himself to a human nature forever so that infinite God became one person with finite man, will remain for eternity the most profound miracle and the most profound mystery in all the universe” (Systematic Theology p563).

The incarnation is a miracle that makes many other miracles possible. Without the miracle of the incarnation, we couldn’t have the miracle of salvation. Without the miracle of the incarnation, we wouldn’t have the miracle of the resurrection. Without the miracle of the incarnation, we would still be separated from God. Before Jesus died he had to live and he had to be born. The Word became flesh and dwelt amongst us (John 1:14).

We are made in his image and yet he is willing to be born in ours. He became like us so that one day we could be like Him. Incarnation is one of those words that doesn’t appear in the Bible yet it sums up the truth that the Biblical writers were trying to communicate. They tried to lay out clearly the truth that one man (Jesus) was at one and the same time both human and divine.

It is also one of those areas which over the centuries many spiritual battles have been fought. There have been any number of heresies, ideas about Jesus which simply are not true. Whatever you think about theology and theologians, the church has always needed men and women of understanding who will stand up against those who proclaim false teaching, and nowhere is it more important than how we understand Jesus, for it is the basis of our faith.

If Christ wasn’t the Son of God then we are not redeemed, if Christ did not lead a sinless life then we are not redeemed, if Christ was not crucified we are not redeemed, if Christ was not resurrected we are not redeemed, yet this is the truth the Bible proclaims. Christ was the incarnate Son of God, so we could be redeemed. Christ did lead a sinless life so we could be redeemed, Christ was crucified so we could be redeemed, Christ was resurrected we are redeemed.

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