DayBreaks for 12/25/19: A Reason for the Incarnation
Why did Jesus take on flesh? Philip Yancey, in Finding God in Unexpected Places, pondered that question and came up with various possibilities. Certainly, he came to show us what God is like. He also came to show us what a man “fully alive” was meant to be. He came to seek and save the lost. He came not to be served, but to serve. He came to give himself as a ransom for many through his selfless sacrifice.
God loves matter – the mountains, the trees, the animals, the heavenly orbs, the beauty of a diamond, the rings of Saturn – all made by His hand for His own pleasure. Creating gives God pleasure.
The creation’s sin, however, created a separation or gulf between God and man. All the great characters of the Bible struggled with this separation and cried out in terms like these: “God, you don’t know what it’s like living down here!” Job, eloquent as ever, put it more bluntly: “Do you have eyes of flesh? Do you see as a mortal sees?”
All these Biblical characters had a point – and God recognized the truth of that point by visiting Planet Earth Himself. The author of Hebrews puts it in absolutely stunning terms when he said that Jesus’ life on earth was a time when he “learned obedience,” “was made perfect,” and became a “sympathetic” high priest.
How does one learn sympathy? There is only one way and it is evident in the Greek roots of the word used for sympathy: sym and pathos, meaning “to feel or suffer with.”
Of the many reasons for the Incarnation (Yancey concluded): “…surely one was to answer Job’s accusation. Do you have eyes of flesh? Yes, indeed.”
Merry CHRISTmas to you all!
PRAYER: Teach us to have spiritual vision as well as physical vision. You who came to have human eyes, please give us eyes like yours that we may see what you see, think like you think, and be conformed to your image. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright by 2019 by Galen C. Dalrymple. ><}}}”>