The Wonder of The Incarnation
The countdown continues and we find ourselves rushing toward our Christmas Day finale. But, has the busyness of Christmas kept you from truly experiencing the wonder of the Incarnation – Emmanuel – “God with us”?
I know it’s difficult with all the shopping, baking, cleaning, and decorating, to stay focused on this amazing truth. So, let’s take a few minutes, right now, to reflect on this glorious wonder.
Incarnation, it’s such a complex word. Nevertheless, it speaks of the moment God, who is Spirit, stepped from eternity into time, into our world, becoming one of us in the person of Jesus Christ. He did this to pay the death penalty for humanity’s sin, because of His great love.
But, have you ever wondered when this incarnation took place? I mean, was it in the stable as Mary gave birth, was it at the moment of conception, or a different time altogether?
In today’s world, science insists life begins only when a fetus is viable and able to live on its own. This theory would suggest incarnation happened at Christ’s actual birth or a different time in His life.
However, I would like you to consider another thought. When the angel, Gabriel, delivered the message to Mary that she would conceive of the Holy Spirit and bear a Son, he also informed her about the miraculous pregnancy of her elderly cousin, Elizabeth. Being overjoyed for Elizabeth, Mary left at once to visit.
As she entered the house and greeted her cousin, Elizabeth’s baby, John, the Baptist, leaped in her womb. Why? An obstetrician might say it is because there was a change in the mother’s emotions or he heard a different voice. But, in the prophetic nature of the encounter, Scripture implies this unborn infant knew he was in the presence of the God of the Universe, the One, whose coming he would herald, and he just couldn’t contain himself.
Thus, incarnation took place at conception, as conception is the moment life begins.
Still, traditionally, we celebrate birthdays. And, since we are not told the actual date of Christ’s birth, we have adopted December 25th (originally a pagan holiday) for our celebration.
Interestingly, some Bible scholars believe Jesus was actually born around the Feast of Tabernacles (September-October). They base their conclusion on John 1:14, “The Word [Jesus] became flesh and dwelt [or tabernacled] among us...” and the fact that December is not normally a month when shepherds would be out in the fields with their flocks.
So, ponder this. If you count back from the date of the Feast of Tabernacles, according to the days of human gestation, anywhere from 266 to 280 days, it brings you to approximately December 25th for conception.
Therefore, in celebrating Christ’s birth on December 25th, we are truly celebrating His INCARNATION.
And because of incarnation, we have a sinless Savior. God became flesh so He could die for our sin that we may live with Him forever.
He loves us that much. And this, my friends, is the amazing wonder of the Incarnation.
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