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The Great Commission

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Friday, December 4, 2009

The Glorious Incarnation

“Unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given: And the government shall be upon his shoulder. And His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6)

We are all familiar with the traditional Christmas hymn, "Joy to the World." But how many of us have stopped to consider its meaning.

Joy to the World, the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven, and Heaven, and nature sing.

Joy to the World, the Savior reigns!
Let men their songs employ;
While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat, repeat, the sounding joy.

No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found,
Far as the curse is found,
Far as, far as, the curse is found.

He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders, wonders, of His love.

Jesus came to earth as the King of Kings. That our King would die for us is the incomprehensible wonder of his love. But as the song indicates, Jesus Christ didn't just die for us. Our Saviour reigns. He rules "the world with truth and grace."

Miracles of miracles. The Creator of all came to earth as the most helpless of creation. His majesty and power was shrouded in the innocence and frailty of a human babe. We call this event, the glorious incarnation.

The glorious incarnation is a time when we celebrate Advent. Advent means the glory of the coming of the Lord, the dawning of God’s salvation light to a lost and darkened world. It celebrates the fulfillment of the many prophecies of the Old Testament concerning the birth of Messiah. It unfolds what had been hidden in times past. It announces from the roof tops that Emmanuel is finally here; God is actually with us and is amongst us. The Word was made flesh.

Christ’s birth breaks forth the divine into human history with unparalleled might and splendor. It introduces the supernatural into the natural, in the highest possible order. It sings from the heavens that the King is born, His Kingdom has invaded the earth, and the world will never be the same again. It makes the invisible God visible through the person of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. The glorious incarnation represents an undying faith that through patience and long suffering expects heaven’s visitation will manifest itself in the earth. His Kingdom has come and now we look to His will being done on earth as it is in heaven.

Jesus’ birth not only points to His miraculous entrance into this world, but it also affirms the sacredness of life, particularly the life in the womb. Almighty God humbled Himself and clothed Himself in a tent of human flesh. Jesus was once an embryo, a fetus, and a baby in the womb. Though His conception was supernatural, everything else concerning His development as a baby went according to nature. Thus He completely identifies with every person conceived and born of women in the history of the world.

The truth is, Jesus began His earthly pilgrimage when He was conceived by the Holy Ghost (Luke 1:31). It was at conception where the famous kenosis or "emptying" of Christ began. This "emptying" of course, did not divest Jesus of His deity, but He voluntarily restricted His preincarnate glory and prerogatives as God in order to humbly fulfill His Father’s will on earth. The bottom line is all of Christ’s deity and humanity were fully present at conception(which is why abortion is evil). Christ was no less God or human while in the womb.

May the revelation of Christmas burn bright in our hearts this holiday season. May it shine brighter than the artificial lights of the season and may it inspire our faith, increase our hope, and abound His love to us, our families, and to the world at large. "Joy to the world, the Lord has come! Let earth receive her King."

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