God as Us!This Christmas give Jesus your entire life.
At Christmastime, the faithful come to more than a holiday; we come to a Person. We adore Jesus. Who exactly is this One whose birth changed the course of humanity? How is that possible? Why would God do such a radical thing?
This new Baby Jesus is God who became human not only to be a substitute to die for our sins; Jesus is the recreator of human existence. Jesus didn’t come merely as a great teacher about how to live. Nor is He merely the adequate payment for the penalty of our sins. He is not even merely the one who makes it possible for us to be forgiven. He was not “born to die” as His only purpose. He also came to relive human life and to give us His life! Jesus is the eternal Creator God, who became one of us so that He can make us what He teaches us we should be.
There are two aspects to understanding the person of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ of Nazareth is 100% God. He is God the Son, the second Person of the Trinity. He is not a separate entity from God. Jesus is the Word who spoke all creation into being (John 1:1-3). He is the revelation of the character and nature of God (Hebrews 1:1-3). Jesus is also completely human (1 John 4:1-3).
The Incarnation means God became embodied in human flesh. We remember that in Genesis 2:7 God breathed His life into the body of Adam, thereby creating a living person. By offering His Spirit, God united Himself to human nature. That union with us makes us what He called “good – exactly what I intended.” In Genesis 3, humanity separated themselves from union with God through rebellion and God’s intention for human life was shattered. This is the “cosmic wound”; I call it “anthropological trauma.” Our good human nature as intended by God at our creation is ruptured from relationship with Him and corrupted into sinful nature. What could ever be done to bring wholeness again to human persons? To save us? God must once again unite Himself to human nature (Philippians 2:5-9). “The Word became flesh” (John 1:14 NIV). God the Son became human, while never diminishing His divinity at all. In His own person, Jesus is the reconciliation of humans with God (Colossians 1:13-22).
Since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same (Hebrews 2:14 NASB).
Since the fall of Adam and Eve in Genesis 3, from the moment of our conception all humanity is imprisoned in sinful nature. There’s nothing we can do for ourselves to become free or healed of this corruption of our beings. Therefore, because God is compassionate love, He personally came to deliver us. From the moment of Jesus’ conception our rescue and salvation began. In that instant, history was turned. Within Mary, God’s Spirit is united to human nature once again (Luke 1:31-35). Jesus, the Creator, begins to recreate the hopeless dilemma of sinful human existence by reliving the human race the way He intended from creation (Romans 7:23-8:4). That is why Paul calls Jesus the Second Adam (1 Corinthians 15:45-49, Romans 5:12-21).
The Incarnate Creator endured every implication and temptation of human life (Hebrews 2:14-18, 4:15). But Jesus, because He is God, lived every moment as a human being in perfect union and intimacy with the Father, as we were intended to do when creation began. Jesus lived a completely human life without sin.
Every hour of His earthly life, with purpose and intention, Jesus was undoing the curse of the fall. The Incarnation began in a womb. Jesus was a zygote, an embryo, a fetus – enduring His mother’s stress in utero as a “surprise pregnancy.” At Bethlehem God was a helpless newborn. He lived through childhood, being a political refugee, and was an adolescent in a pornographic and corrupt culture. Jesus went through adulthood with every level of personal challenge, stress, and disappointment, including betrayal by trusted friends. He experientially knows suffering, slander, injustice, abuse, torture, abandonment and death.
Everything we humans endure, Jesus endured, and now bears in Himself so that you can know your pain and trauma are known by Him, are ruled over by your King and can be healed in Him.
At Christmas we recognize fully who Jesus is. When He encounters people, He is God who has once again come to walk in our midst! But more than simply being present with us, Jesus took our humanity into Himself – He became God as us. Because Christ is human and divine, He is the healing of our wound of separation from God. He formed humans with His hands and breathed Life into dust. He still does! That’s why He performs so many miracles of healing. He forgives sin. He is God who has taken our human predicament into Himself because He loves us.
Jesus is our Hope! Human nature was restored and healed as it was originally intended by the true, perfect human Person – the One who is God united to human nature. Christmas is the possibility of hope for new creation for every person (2 Corinthians 5:16-19, 21). Christmas reality completely impacts every moment of our daily living.
Are you paralyzed with anxiety? Are you trapped in a leprous-like sin from which you cannot get clean? Has abandonment broken your heart so that you can’t experience any kind of intimacy? Have your dreams, your marriage, your hopes of ever feeling loved or that you matter – have they died? Jesus can recreate your life! He is the One who creates out of nothing.
He has taken our human brokenness into His life. As the human God, He obeyed what we could not, He suffered for our sin, His death killed ours (1 Peter 2:24), His resurrected humanity gives our humanity life to live as He taught us. When we surrender all of our life to Him, He gives us His life. This Christmas give Jesus your entire life. Receive the gift of His life He longs to give to you, to set you free and make you whole. He makes all things new.
This article was published in the December 2023 issue of The War Cry.