“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” – John 1:1-5, 9-14
This is what we celebrate on Christmas. It’s so much more than Mary, Joseph, wise men, shepherds, angels and the birth of a baby. The eternal God came to earth. Sent from the Father, the Son was conceived in the virgin Mary’s womb by the Holy Spirit. The incarnation of God himself. Jesus, the Word, became flesh and dwelt among us.
The arrival of the long awaited messiah had come. The offspring promised to Adam and Eve that would crush Satan’s head (Genesis 3:15). The sacrifice that God himself would provide (Genesis 22:8). Our great and faithful high priest (Psalm 110:4) The prophet greater than Moses (Deuteronomy 18:15). A king to rule his people to be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2). The child of a virgin who would be called Immanuel, “God with us” (Isaiah 7:14). In the fullness of time, God was faithful to his promises and Christ was born.
So why did Jesus leave heaven and come to us in the flesh? He came to save his people from their sins (Matthew 1:21). To give his life as a ransom for many (Mark 10:45). To seek and to save the lost (Luke 19:10). To fulfill the Law of God on our behalf (Matthew 5:17). To lay down his life for his sheep (John 10:11) To bring us peace with God (Romans 5:1). To redeem us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us (Galatians 3:13). The Word became flesh in order to become sin for us on the cross (2 Corinthians 5:21). He came to display the love of God by taking the wrath that we deserve upon himself so that we would have life in him (1 John 4:9-10). Simply put, Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners (1 Timothy 1:15).
I realize that this merely scratches the surface of who Jesus Christ is and the work he was sent to accomplish. Our finite minds simply cannot fully grasp the infinite God and his glorious incarnation. But we can be certain of this. The greatest gift God could have ever given has arrived, wrapped in swaddling cloths and laid in a manger. God’s beloved Son given for us. May we fall on our knees and worship our Savior and King, now and forever more.