God the Son assumed human nature as conceived by the Holy Spirit. This incarnation is the foundation of His redeeming ministry. However, we cannot hope to understand all the ramifications of this event. In the Old Testament, it is the subject of dim and mysterious prophecy which only the Fulfilment has explained. Certain aspects are mysteries which will not be revealed this side of Heaven. Mysteries surrounding the incarnation include:
- The union, in Jesus Christ, of divine and human natures which cannot be changed, divided, separated or mixed, is permanent. He became man as well as God permanently! This incarnation is not part of His humiliation; otherwise, His humiliation would never terminate.
- The incarnation was mandatory for successful completion of the Substitutionary Atonement.
- The incarnation, as an accomplished fact, was committed to record by only two chosen writers: Matthew and Luke.
- It was part of the lowliness of Jesus Christ to bear the reproach which sprang from the paradox of His human birth; this burden began at conception and His mother bore it with Him.
- Jesus did not bring from Heaven some form of pre-existing humanity.
- The manhood of Jesus Christ was subject to the infirmities of our mortal condition.
- The Incarnate Son was subordinate to the Father, in a specific way, which did not continue after the ascension. Until the hour when Jesus could say, All power is given to Me in heaven and earth, He was in a deeply humbled state of subjection. From the first words concerning His mission, I must be in My Father’s will, to the last, My Father is greater than I, this truth rules the relationship of Jesus to the Father.
- Jesus was under the guidance of the Holy Spirit during His earthly life rather than under the independent agency of His Divine personality. This particular subordination ceased when He who received became the Giver of the Holy Spirit.
- The voluntary humiliation which made Jesus a representative of sinners extended over His entire life.
- Jesus was numbered with the transgressors, not only by the transgressors themselves, but also by His Father.
- The obedience of Christ may be viewed as one great act of reparation to the Divine law which He accomplished on behalf of mankind.
- The death of Christ was His ultimate humiliation.
- Jesus was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death.
- My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me? This was the bitter cry that came from the Redeemer’s infinite perception of what lies in eternal abandonment by God.
- In the Holy person of Jesus Christ, sin was represented, and its penalty endured.
- The Resurrection was the glorification of Jesus Christ and the seal of His atoning work.
- If the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you. This implies that the Holy Spirit will be the agent of our resurrection.
- The Pentecostal gift of the Holy Spirit was proof of the truth of the ascension and demonstrated the authority of Jesus Christ.
These items represent only a few of the magnificent mysteries which surround the incarnation. Most residents, of the world’s godless, humanistic, technologically developed societies, consider these bullet items to be nonsensical, religious clap-trap not worthy of consideration. The prevenient grace of God is calling them, trying to awaken, trying to draw near, trying to convict of sin, but to no avail.
Here is a poem by Joseph Addison Alexander that provides a perspective that may be close to the mark.
There is a time, we know not when,
A place we know not where;
Which marks the destiny of men
To glory or despair.
There is a line, by us unseen,
Which crosses every path;
Which marks the boundary between
God’s mercy and His wrath.
To pass that limit is to die,
To die as if by stealth;
It does not dim the beaming eye,
Nor pale the glow of health.
The conscience may be still at ease,
The spirit light and gay;
And that which pleases still may please,
And care be thrust away.
But on that forehead God hath set
Indelibly a mark;
Unseen by man, for man as yet,
Is blind and in the dark.
He feels perchance that all is well,
And every fear is calmed;
He lives, he dies, he walks in hell,
Not only doomed but damned!
O, where is that mysterious line
That may by men be crossed,
Beyond which God himself hath sworn,
That he who goes is lost?
An answer from the skies repeats,
“Ye who from God depart.”
TODAY O hear His voice,
TODAY repent and harden not your heart.