We have briefly considered prophecies of the Son of God coming into the world, stated in the Old Testament (part 1); we have looked at references concerning the birth of Christ in the Gospels (part 2). But the remainder of the New Testament restates the truth concerning the incarnation time and time again; perhaps so that we will appreciate more of the greatness of the Lord Jesus.
Following on from John stating in his Gospel “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14), the Apostle Paul also emphasises the divine nature of the Lord Jesus when writing to Timothy: “God was manifested in the flesh” (1 Timothy 3:16). To manifest means to make visible or known. The Lord Jesus revealed God to mankind.
But at the same time, it is important to recognise that it was a “stoop” for the Son of God to become man. The writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews says He “was made a little lower than the angels” (Hebrews 2:9); Paul says to the Philippians that He “made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men” and “He humbled Himself” (Philippians 2:7,8).
As well as revealing God to mankind, the great purpose of the incarnation is “that the Father has sent the Son as Saviour of the world” (1 John 4:14). He came to save. After His resurrection, the Lord Jesus explained to His disciples that “it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations” (Luke 24:46-47).
The Son of God “becoming flesh” was necessary to remove sin. At the beginning of Matthew’s Gospel, we see the purpose of the coming of the Lord Jesus simply through His name: “you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). The Lord Jesus became man, that “He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone” (Hebrews 2:9). It was necessary for Him to become flesh, so that He could die on the cross to pay the price for sin.
Why is the Incarnation of the Lord Jesus so important to us?
The fact that “God was manifested in the flesh” (1 Timothy 3:16) and that “He humbled Himself” (Philippians 2:8) should cause my soul to wonder in amazement at the Lord Jesus, the Son of God. The Son of God becoming flesh that He might “taste death” should cause me to be thankful that, through the suffering of the Lord Jesus, I have experienced the grace of God in forgiveness, and salvation from sin and the judgement attached to sin. The challenge to me as a Christian today is this: how much do I appreciate “the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Galatians 2:20).
If you are reading this and have never called upon the Lord Jesus to save you, think on Him today with wonder that He “became flesh”; be thankful that He died so that you might be forgiven righteously, based on the price that He paid, and, in sorrow for your sin, call upon Him to forgive and save you.
I commend to you the person of the Lord Jesus Christ as a wonderful Saviour.
Photo Credit: Tim Wildsmith