Into the world, on a nondescript night, in a small town grown weary with oppression and centuries of unfulfilled prophetic expectation, in an obscure shelter no one would have thought to look for him, in the care of poor, nonresident parents, came God the Son.
It was his incarnation, but not his origin. He had preexisted his conception. He preexisted the entire world (John 17:5). Everything in existence, visible and invisible, had been made through him and for him (John 1:3; Colossians 1:16), including,
- His own human DNA that instructed each cell to perform its duty in forming a body and brain,
- His mother’s blood and amniotic fluid wadding his fine, dark hair,
- The startle reflex that would wake him crying,
- The cotton spun into the swaddling cloths binding his infant arms and legs to subdue that startle reflex,
- The trees that provided the manger’s wood now supporting him,
- The bone-tired, very sore, sleeping young mother next to him who had just given him birth,
- The exhausted, attentive, awed young man he would learn to call “Father,” now stoking the fire,
- The mystified shepherds making their way from the fields,
- The herald angels who rang the Bethlehem sky with good news of great joy,
- And the strange star drawing strange Persian astrologers to adore him.
As he lay there, looking very much like any other Jewish baby born that night, he was “the image of the invisible God” (Colossians 1:15). As his truly human nature slept like a baby, his truly divine nature was holding all things in existence together (Colossians 1:17).
Into Darkness He Came
Into the world came God the Son, because God the Father had so loved the perishing people populating the cursed, satanically-terrorized planet (John 3:16; 1 John 5:19). The people — we the people — were perishing because we had rejected and rebelled against the Father, and, in rejecting the Father, we rejected the Son and the Spirit also.
In rejecting our holy triune Creator, we became sons and daughters of disobedience, following the course of this world and the prince of the power of the air, living in the passions of our flesh and carrying out the desires of our bodies and minds, becoming children of wrath by nature and destined for eternal destruction (Ephesians 2:2–3; 2 Thessalonians 1:9).
But God . . . but God the Father, being rich in mercy and loving us with a love so great we can barely conceive of it, even when we were dead in our trespasses against him, sent his only begotten Son — his eternally beloved Son — into this evil world to rescue us from our eternal spiritual death and make us eternally alive (Ephesians 2:4–5).
And the Son so loved the Father and so loved us, whom he had created, that he humbled himself and became human flesh so that he could bear our sins in his body on the cross, that we might not perish but have eternal life (Philippians 2:7–8; John 1:14; 1 Peter 2:24; John 3:16).
The Son came to pursue our salvation to the uttermost because his great desire and his Father’s great desire was that we would be with him forever and experience fullness of joy and eternal pleasures as we see him in all his divine glory — which we were always designed to be most satisfied in (Hebrews 7:25; John 17:24; Psalm 16:11). And in the coming ages, when this valley of shadow has passed away and he has wiped away every tear from our eyes, and death and mourning and crying and pain is no more, the Father will show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:7; Revelation 21:4).
O Come Let Us Adore Him
That’s why God the Son came into the world.
- It’s why he was born to simple peasants,
- Why a feeding trough was his first bed,
- Why shepherds were the first to worship him,
- Why pagan Gentiles were also invited to worship him,
- Why he was raised in Nazareth,
- Why his own people rejected him (John 1:11),
- Why, after preaching a gospel of grace and healing the sick and delivering the demonized and raising the dead, he was betrayed by a close friend, denied and abandoned by the rest of his closest friends, falsely accused by the religious leaders, handed over to Gentile oppressors, and brutally crucified in the most humiliating way,
- And why he was raised from the dead on the third day.
God the Son came into the world to fully bear our reproach as sons and daughters of sinful disobedience that we might be qualified to be adopted as sons and daughters of God and share with the Son, the preeminent Firstborn, every spiritual blessing of his eternal, infinite, glorious inheritance (Colossians 1:12, 18; Ephesians 1:3–6).
Come. Come away from the complexities and confusion and clutteredness of Christmas. Come to the simple manger, come to the brutal cross, and come to the empty tomb. Come and receive again the good news of great joy that is now for all people and all peoples (Luke 2:10): the works of Satan and the power of death he wielded has been destroyed (1 John 3:8; Hebrews 2:14), sin’s slavery has been broken (Romans 6:17–18), and the free gift of eternal life is yours in Christ Jesus if you will believe in him (Romans 6:23; John 3:16).
“O come let us adore him, Christ the Lord.”