Since you will be reading this on Christmas Eve or Christmas day, this is really a propitious time to discuss what happened at Jesus’s incarnation. It’s a subject of a lot of confusion.
If you have not read the earlier posts on this subject, find the “Categories” list in the right-hand column of this page and click on “Christianity 101.” This will pull up all the previous posts so you can read through them in order.
Today we are going to look at the sacrifice of Jesus’s incarnation. All Christians are aware of the sacrifice Jesus made at Calvary, where He submitted Himself to be crucified, but how often do we consider the sacrifice of the incarnation.
To understand the magnitude of this sacrifice, we have to examine just exactly what happened. For openers, let’s take a look at the first three verses of the book of John, as recorded in the New American Standard Bible:
John Ch 1:
1. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2. He was in the beginning with God.
3. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.
Who is this “Word?” From the context, the “Word” must refer to Jehovah. He was with God, and He was God. As a part of the God-head, He was with God, but He also was God.
Jehovah created the heavens and the earth. Nothing came into being except through Him. As Jehovah, He held resident within Himself all power. He could speak the word, and it would come into being. There is no record of His ever having to ask the Father for anything. He just did it of His own volition.
Now, let’s take a look at verse 14:
14. And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.
The Word—Jehovah—became flesh—Jesus. The Creator voluntarily allowed Himself to be stripped of His creative powers to become one of His own creatures. What a sacrifice! If you gave up your humanity to become a cockroach, the sacrifice involved wouldn’t begin to approach the magnitude of the sacrifice involved when Jehovah gave up His position and powers to become Jesus.
I don’t say this to lessen Jesus’s diety. He is all God and all man, but in John 5:19, Jesus says that He does nothing except what He sees the Father do and that He speaks nothing except what He hears the Father speak. As Jehovah, He had full power to do and say of His own volition, but, as Jesus, He is limited to what the Father does and says.
All too often, Christians seem to think that Jesus was some sort of avatar who came to earth for 33 years to set an example and then returned to His original position, but that cheapens the sacrifice. It wasn’t temporary. It was permanent.
When He was telling His disciples good-bye, He didn’t say, “I go to resume my former place with all my former powers.” He said, “I go to sit at the right hand of the Father, ever to make intercession for the saints.” He’s still Jesus. He’s still his own creature. He still has the nail scars.
If you have any doubts about these things, get a concordance and look for the name “Jehovah” in the New Testament. You won’t find it, nor will you find the name “Jesus” in the Old Testament. To confirm the nature of this sacrifice a little more firmly, let’s look at a couple of other passages”
Hebrews Ch 1:
4. . . . in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world.
God confirms that Jesus is His Son and heir, but in the same verse He says that it was also He (Jehovah) through whom He made the world. I don’t need any more evidence than this, but let’s look at one more passage:
Philippians Ch 2:
6. who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped,
7. but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.
Although He existed in the form of God (Jehovah), He emptied Himself, taking the form of man (Jesus). If we ponder this for awhile—that Jehovah, the Creator of all that was created, including ourselves, voluntarily gave up His creative power to become one of us, the magnitude of that is mind-boggling. Yes, He still has access to God. Yes, He is still with God. But He is still man, one of His own creatures.
When you capture the true meaning of this, it greatly magnifies who Jesus is and what He was willing to do for us.
What do you think about this sacrifice of Jesus’s incarnation?
Have a Merry Christmas and remember to celebrate this sacrifice.
If you abide in Me and My word abides in you, then you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.
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