5 Incredible Truths About the Incarnation of Christ
By Shane Pruitt
I love everything about the Christmas season—the cheesy Hallmark movies, the family get-togethers, and all the over-the-top decorations. In fact, we decorate the outside of our house in a way that would make Clark Griswald proud. Also, the fun of competitive rounds of the White Elephant gift exchange never gets old either.
However, when it comes to gifts, God gave us the greatest gift of all. You could even say that God gave us His very best—Himself! Jesus, the Son of God, came to us, gave Himself up for us, and gave us the opportunity to experience eternal life.
Jesus truly was Immanuel, God with us. This is what is commonly called the Incarnation of Christ, which means that the Son of God literally came to earth and became fully man (he also remained fully God) to live with mankind.
The Incarnation of Christ is one of the most beautiful teachings of Scripture. When you realize the incredible truths behind the reality that God came and dwelt among us, it can’t help but impact the way you live.
Here are five incredible truths about the Incarnation of Christ:
- God proved Himself. Often, in frustration or doubt, people may exclaim, “God, if You’re real, then prove it! Show Yourself. If You care about us, then come down here and communicate to us.” Interestingly, that is EXACTLY what He did in Jesus. God proved Himself. The Apostle Paul told the church in Colossae that Jesus was, “the image of the invisible God” (Colossians 1:15a). He made God visible. Want to know what God is like? Look to Jesus!
- God keeps His promises. We’ve all been hurt by broken promises. Plus, as imperfect people, if we’re honest, we’ve hurt others by breaking our promises to them. However, God always keeps His promises. The Old Testament is one big promise that a savior, deliverer, and rescuer was coming. There are over 300 prophecies (promises) in the Old Testament about the coming Messiah, and Jesus fulfilled every single one of them. God is the ultimate promise-keeper!
- God can identify with us. “Jesus couldn’t possibly understand what I’m going through right now,; after all, He never had to experience what I am!” We’ve all said or at least thought something along this line before in frustration while going through difficult situations. However, no one can understand what you’re going through better than Jesus. When the Son of God came to earth 2,000 years ago, He was fully God, but He was also fully human. This means that He was a man who experienced everything there was to being a man and therefore can completely identify with everything that humans go through. He personally knows what it’s like to suffer, experience exhaustion, live in poverty, have others betray Him, and endure hardships. He understands and can empathize with us in ways that no one else can.
- God of the Bible is different from the gods of other religions. Unlike all other religions, Christianity teaches that God Himself reached down to creation. He took on the form and nature of His creation in the person of Jesus without ceasing to be God and then died a substitutionary sacrificial death to atone for the sins of His own creation. After this sacrificial death, Jesus was raised to life in order to demonstrate that He was God and that His death had been sufficient payment for the sin of mankind. And now Jesus doesn’t merely point us to the way of eternal life, but He claims to be eternal life. Faith in Jesus as the atoning sacrifice for sin is the only requirement of Christianity. There is no level of spiritual enlightenment that we must attain or a number of good works that we must perform in order to be accepted by God. He has already done all that needed to be done in order for us to be redeemed and offered salvation through faith in Jesus. In other words, mankind can be saved by good works, just not ours, but rather the work of Jesus on our behalf.
- God is coming again. God kept His promises of the first coming of Jesus. Therefore, we can fully trust the promises made by God that Christ is coming again. Just like the Old Testament saints were eagerly waiting for the first coming, we as New Testament saints are eagerly awaiting His second coming. In fact, there are more prophecies (promises) in the Scriptures about Jesus’ second coming, than there were about His first coming. However, His second coming will look drastically different than His first coming did:
- 1st Coming of Jesus: He came as a baby
- 2nd Coming of Jesus: He will come as a full grown King
- 1st Coming of Jesus: He came lying in a manger
- 2nd Coming of Jesus: He will come riding a White Horse
- 1st Coming of Jesus: He came in weakness & meekness
- 2nd Coming of Jesus: He will come in Power and Glory
- 1st Coming of Jesus: He came to suffer for the sins of the world
- 2nd Coming of Jesus: He will do away with all sin
- 1st Coming of Jesus: He came as a Suffering Servant
- 2nd Coming of Jesus: He will come as a Conquering Master
- 1st Coming of Jesus: He came as a Sacrificial Lamb
- 2nd Coming of Jesus: He will come as a Screaming Lion
- 1st Coming of Jesus: He came to wear a Crown of Thorns
- 2nd Coming of Jesus: He will come wearing a Crown of Gold
- 1st Coming of Jesus: He came and got beat up
- 2nd Coming of Jesus: He will come and give a beating
- 1st Coming of Jesus: He came to make Peace between God and Man
- 2nd Coming of Jesus: He will come to make War against all who oppose God
- 1st Coming of Jesus: Only a handful of people knew about it
- 2nd Coming of Jesus: Everyone will know who He is
- 1st Coming of Jesus: Only a few wise-men bowed before Him
- 2nd Coming of Jesus: Every knee will bow before Him
- 1st Coming of Jesus: He came because He loves You
- 2nd Coming of Jesus: He will come because He loves You