3 July 2020
“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us…..” (John 1:14 (a)).
This describes for us the Incarnation of Christ. The Son of God assumed humanity to redeem us – He took on our flesh; He took human nature, He freely took that which cannot be separated from human nature. This included all the emotions and affections of our common humanity in its weakness and infirmity; of HIs own accord He put on human feelings, so that He differed in nothing from us, sin only excepted. Christ is not only a spectator of the human condition, but a participant in it. In a word, the Logos, God Himself, became flesh. The Son of God descended from the height of His heavenly glory to a low and abject state for our sake.
A mediator adequate for man’s needs must be both divine and human. The atonement that is required can come only from man but fallen man is disqualified from taking on this task. God the Son incarnate is alone free from sin and able to offer Himself as an atoning sacrifice. The Son of God becomes the Son of Man and took what was ours as to impart what was His to us; He made what was His by nature ours by grace. Thus everything lacking in us is given to us by Christ, everything sinful in us is imputed to Christ, and all condemnation merited by us is borne by Christ.
The ultimate consummation of salvation (seen in the final resurrection glory) is grounded in Christ’s obedience as incarnate. This obedience of the incarnate Christ is in the whole course of His life and in HIs atoning death – in what He experienced and accomplished in our flesh – not simply in the taking of and living in our flesh in and of itself. In order to restore fallen man to sinless God, the Son must take what is ours (sin, guilt, bondage, condemnation, death) and deal with it in such a way that what was ours becomes His and what is HIs also becomes ours. This is the concept of exchange. Christ appeared in the name and the person of sinners in order genuinely and righteously to accomplish what we could not do for ourselves.
Christ did not need to experience what He did. He did so to persuade us that He knows, understands and sympathises with us in our weakness. He can be trusted to support us in our times of darkness. Whenever all kinds of evils press upon us, let us be assured that nothing befalls us which the Son of God has not experienced Himself, so that He can sympathise with us; and let us not doubt that He is with us in it as if He were distressed along with us. Let us worship God with gratefulness and thankfulness for the Incarnation of the Son of God.