Thursday, December 3 – God, with flesh and bones

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14

Think of the youngest child you have ever seen. You may have been in the delivery room and have seen a child fresh out of the womb, or a baby only a few days old. What a wonder to see one so small! Even after having three children, it is still a surprise to look at a newborn, so small, so fragile, and so new to this world.

That is part of the wonder of the birth of Jesus.  God was once a little baby!  He was always God and will always be God, but he also became a human being in addition to his divine being.

Richard Phillips quotes the Westminster Confession as stating, “The Son of God…did, when the fullness of time was come, take upon him man’s nature, with all the essential properties, and common infirmities thereof, yet without sin.”  This is a great mystery, as Paul states in 1 Tim. 3:16.

Phillips says that he did this for at least three reasons, “to die, to sympathize with us, and to show us how to live.”  The wooden feeding trough that he was probably born in may have been made out of the same type of material as the cross that he died on, that is how closely connected we need to see his birth and his death.

He became a man to show that he understands what it means to be a person, with all of our frailties and weaknesses. Jesus understands those, because he was a person, living on his earth for 33 years. His life is a demonstration of God’s love for people, to show us how we can live because of Jesus. He became like us so that we could become like him.

Christmas reveals to us the weakness of our flesh, through Jesus becoming a man. Easter reveals the victory over the flesh (and the world, and the devil). Remember your own weakness this Christmas and your need for this little baby born in a manger, who also came to die for our sins.

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