The Incarnation – So What?
Today marks the beginning of the Passion Week, Easter Week, the week where Christians around the world commemorate the final teachings and sufferings of Jesus, culminating in the greatest event in the history of the world – the resurrection of the Christ.
And while I certainly do not intend to devalue the power of this portion of The Good News, I find myself reflecting on The Good News often celebrated at that other Christian holiday celebration – Jesus’ birth. I don’t know about you, but the fact that the All-Powerful God of the universe cares so deeply and personally about me that He would leave the pristine majesty of Heaven to be born as a fellow sufferer among the human race absolutely blows my mind. And it makes Him so much more approachable, knowing He gets it, He was here just like me.
Did you see “Slumdog Millionaire?” Good show. I think the part that somehow touched me in the most visceral, tangible way was when the lead character (as a boy) willingly swam through a swamp of outhouse droppings so he could get the autograph of his favorite star who was coming through their village. When his older brother quickly sold the autograph behind his back, I could have shot the guy! Anyway, here’s my point.
It’s hard enough for me to imagine that kid swimming through yuck to get the autograph of a superstar. But imagine if the wealthy superstar had swum through that filth just to meet this plain old impoverished kid and to hang out with him, to be with him and make a difference in his life. Never happen, right?!
Well, that’s pretty much what Jesus did for me! He willingly submitted to the Father’s plan wherein he would leave his throne on high to become an earthbound ragamuffin, facing a life of pain, heartache, betrayal, temptation, limitation, discomfort, and rubbing elbows with depraved sinners like me. YUCK!!! It seems he believed it was important to come hang out with us, before asking us to surrender to his Lordship. As the saying goes, “People don’t care how much you know. . . until they know how much you care!
“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
“For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.”
“Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death – even death on a cross.”
I’ll follow up throughout the week with the practical implications of living as a follower of the One who stepped into this filthy world for your redemption and mine.
God’s peace to you.