incarnation

Picture from http://www.theologylived.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/incarnation.jpg

“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us” (John 1:14).

             The incarnation is a promise.  God became human.  His invisible personage of pure love was manifest.  Jesus is our proof: God will also become flesh in us.  His pure love will be manifest in us.

Genesis chapter one shows that creation was an incarnational act.  God spoke, and whatever He said came into being.  The crown of it all was the image of God in humanity.  Everything moved toward that divine end—God’s personage displayed.

Job said, “I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth.  And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God” (Job 19:25-26).  Certainly, the first part of this verse looks ahead to Christ becoming man.  But Job doesn’t stop there.  He is certain he will see God in his flesh.  We often take this as Job’s hope in resurrection.  But what is resurrection?  Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life” (John 11:25).  Resurrection is Christ in you—God in your flesh.

Isaiah says the Word is like the rain or snow which comes from heaven, causing everything to bud and flourish (Isaiah 55:10).  Can you imagine the rain and snow incarnating as seed, stalk, and grain, as flower and fruit?  This is the promise of the Word: “It will not return to me empty but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:11).

“For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son” (Rom. 8:29).  We are predestined to be Christ-like.  It is not a matter of doubt or will-power.  Whether you call it being conformed to the image of Christ or sanctification or whatever else, the corporate incarnation of the Word is an absolute certainty.  “[N]either death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation” can stall or stop God’s incarnational purpose in us (Rom. 8:38-39).

Broadly speaking, this is what Revelation is about.  In chapter 4, John sees God and the Lamb on their throne in heaven.  By chapter 22, God and the Lamb are on their throne in the New Jerusalem.  We are the New Jerusalem.  We are the bride, the wife of the Lamb (Rev. 21:9-11).  Revelation shows the relocation of God from heaven to humans: “Look!  God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them” (Rev. 21:3).

What powerful encouragement these things provide.  On days when we feel there is no hope of our ever being like Jesus, the entire sweep of scripture says we’re wrong.  You think nothing good can come out of you?  That’s what they said about Nazareth (John 1:46).  But that’s where the Word became flesh and lived among us.

Advertisements