The word of the Father by whom all time was created was made flesh and born in time for us. He without whose divine permission no day completes its course, wished to have one of those days for His human birth. In the bosom of His Father He existed before all the cycles of the ages. Born of an earthly mother, He entered on the course of the years on that very day. The maker of man became man that He ruler of the stars might be nourished at the breast, that He the bread might be hungry, that He the fountain might thirst, that He the light might sleep, that He the way might be wearied in the journey, that He the truth might be accused by false witnesses, that He the judge of the living and the dead might be brought to trial by a mortal judge, that He justice itself might be condemned by the unjust, that He discipline personified might be scourged with a whip, that He the foundation might be suspended on a cross, that He courage incarnate might be weak, and He security itself might be wounded, and He life itself might die.
Jesus Christ, the condescension of divinity, and the exaltation of humanity.
The Son of God, had He never become incarnate, might have pitied, but He could not have sympathized with His people. To render Him capable of sympathy, it was necessary that He should become man that He might be susceptible of suffering, and that He should actually be a sufferer that He might be susceptible of sympathy.
For the type of human nature that each of us possesses is not pure human nature. The true humanity created by God has in our case been corrupted and spoiled. There have only been three pure human beings: Adam and Eve (before the fall), and Jesus. All the rest of us are but broken, corrupted versions of humanity. Jesus is not only as human as we are; He is more human. Our humanity is not a standard by which we are to measure His. His humanity, true and unadulterated, is the standard by which we are to be measured.
It is by far the most amazing miracle in the whole Bible – far more amazing than the resurrection and more amazing 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.
The mystery of the humanity of Christ, that He sunk Himself into our flesh, is beyond all human understanding.
God may thunder His commands from Mount Sinai and men may fear, yet remain at heart exactly as they were before. But let a man once see his God down in the arena as a Man – suffering, tempted, sweating, and agonized, finally dying a criminal’s death – and he is a hard man indeed who is untouched.
Let us settle in our minds this great truth, that Jesus Christ was verily and indeed Man. He was equal to the Father in all things, and the eternal God. But He was also Man, and took part of flesh and blood, and was made like unto us in all things, sin only excepted. He had a body like our own. Like us, He was born of a woman. Like us, He grew and increased in stature. Like us, He was often hungry and thirsty, and faint and weary. Like us, He ate and drank, rested and slept. Like us, He sorrowed, and wept, and felt. It is all very wonderful, but so it is. He that made the heavens went to and fro as a poor, weary Man on earth! He that ruled over principalities and powers in heavenly places, took on Him a frail body like our own. He that might have dwelt forever in the glory which He had with the Father, amidst the praises of legions of angels, came down to earth and dwelt as a Man among sinful men. Surely this fact alone is an amazing miracle of condescension, grace, pity, and love.
It is impossible to conceive a Savior more suited to the wants of man’s heart than our Lord Jesus Christ – suited not only by His power, but by His sympathy – suited not only by His divinity, but by His humanity. Labor, I beseech you, to get firmly impressed on your mind that Christ, the refuge of souls, is Man as well as God. Honor Him as King of kings, and Lord of lords. But while you do this, never forget that He had a body and was a Man. Grasp this truth and never let it go. The unhappy Socinian errs fearfully when he says that Christ was only Man, and not God. But let not the rebound from that error make you forget that while Christ was very God, He was also very Man.
Evangelicals are quick to defend the truth that in Jesus Christ “all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form” (Col. 2:9), and rightly we should. But there is a tendency among us, in the interests of Christ’s deity to minimize His humanity.
He is the King of kings, the radiance of His glory, the Lord of the spaceless, fabulous, infinite universe, omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, unspeakable holy, dwelling in light, unapproachable, changeless … and yet He condescended to be enclosed in lowly human flesh, to be born a despised Judean, in a filthy stable, in the womb of a simple Israeli woman and without fanfare or pomp.