There is a story about a father who had told his son he would send him to sleep in the attic, with only bread and water for his supper, if he broke the laws of the home once more. The child disobeyed again and was sent to the attic! The father couldn't eat….because he had the boy on his heart the whole time. His wife said “I know what you’re thinking, but you must not bring the boy from the attic. It would cause him to disobey again. He would have no respect for your word. You must not cheapen your relationship as his father by failing to keep your promise.” To which the husband replied “You’re right! I will not break my word. To do so would cause my son to lose respect for my word. But he is so lonely up there.” He kissed his wife good night, entered the attic, ate bread and water with his son….and when the child went to sleep on the hard floor, his father’s arm was his pillow……. “He who knew no sin suffered for the sinner!” This is exactly what Jesus did when He left His exaltation into His humiliation! In His humanity Jesus took my shame, guilt, punishment and wrath from the Father upon Himself! Why? Because He loves you and me. He did this by coming in the likeness of man! “His incarnate deity” Russell Moore said “Because Jesus’ mission was to restore the world to the way God intended it, under the rule of men and women who them- selves are under the rule of Christ, Jesus must live out a life as both the ruled (under his Father’s lordship) and the ruler (with dominion over everything under his feet). In order to do this, the eternal Word took on flesh (a human nature) and everything this entails. Jesus was not just a human nature; he was a human being. He was a man. He was the Son of God.” This is very important and we should never overlook this wonderful truth! Jesus came down to this earth and he needed flesh in order to suffer for mankind [you and me]. Jesus had to physically be born and walk this earth to die for my sin! God needed a perfect sacrifice to atone for my sin..........I couldn't do it…..you couldn't do it! Only the incarnate Son of God…….Jesus Christ the only one who exemplified in his humanity that none of us could ever do. The sinless….spotless Lamb of God.
2. JESUS IS THE INCARNATE SON OF GOD (V4-V5)
Incarnate means “to clothe with flesh; to embody in flesh.” The incarnation was the act of God the Son whereby He took to Himself a human nature. This was something the nation was told some 7oo years before Christ was born. Isa 9:6 “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” God became flesh! Think about that for a moment!
- He was hungry
- He thirst
- He was overcome with fatigue
- He slept
- He was taught
- He grew
- He loved
- He was astonished
- He was glad
- He was angry
- He was grieved
- He was troubled
- He was overcome by future events
- He exercised faith
- He read scripture
- He prayed
- He sighed in His heart when He saw another man in illness and he cried when His heart ached
See we need to understand! Jesus felt everything we will feel and more in His humanity. That’s why He came! He knew we were going to be messy….that’s the whole point and purpose of the Gospel. He didn't come to throw our sin in our faces and say “see” even though He illuminated our sins to our heart through the Holy Spirit. He knew you were lost…He knew we needed to be rescued from the precipice of the cliff. That’s why He is still seeking the lost with the Gospel. We see this wonderful truth in Luke 15. He came to demonstrate His mercy and grace by taking the punishment that is rightfully mine [yours] on the cross of Calvary. We failed where Jesus in His humanity conquered [was victorious] on our behalf! As Paul wrote in Galatians 4:5 “to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.” THERE ARE THREE THINGS WE LEARN THAT JESUS DID IN HIS INCARNATE BODY [IN HIS FLESH]
HE WAS LIFE......Jesus was demonstrating that He was and is the source of life. In His humanity he was our guide, King and instructor…..sacrifice for redemption. Psalm 36:9 “For with you is the fountain of life; in your light do we see light.” 1 John 5:10-13 “Whoever believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself. Whoever does not believe God has made him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has borne concerning his Son. And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life. Life is and only come from the Son
HE WAS LIGHT......This refers to the biblical truth revealed in Jesus who is the self-existent one “the Word”. Since He is the source of life it would make perfect sense that He is the light of this world! Meaning Spiritual light into the hearts of the redeemed. J C Ryle said “this sentence means that the life which was in Christ, was intended before the fall to be the guide of man’s soul to Heaven, and the supply of man’s heart and conscience….and that since the fall of man it have been salvation and the comfort of all who have been saved.”
HE OVERCAME DARKNESS.......This is refereeing to sin, wrong doing. It also has significance in relationship to Satan who is the ruler over this present spiritual dark world. The natural heart of man [you and me before regeneration] have always been in darkness since the fall in the Garden. Paul wrote “for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light” Eph 5:8. See darkness is a huge promoter or spiritual darkness and rebellion towards God and especially towards the one who represented the Godhead in the flesh [Jesus Christ] Eph 2:2-3 says “in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.”
When the lights are turned on in a dirty, run down unoccupied house it displays the ugliness and dirtiness of the room. The same goes with the heart….the light of Incarnate Christ turns on the light of hearts to reveal the ugliness of our own sin. See the natural man wants to flee from the light as a cockroach or the rat flees when the lights are turned on in a room. The same thing happens to the unregenerate sinner who loves there sin. One of the greatest examples found in scripture is when sin entered in the heart of man [Adam and Eve]. What did they do? They hid themselves from His presence! The same rule applies to the unregenerate person who hides in the dark because they love there sin. The unregenerate man says “go away and leave me alone” While the regenerate man says “Lord please reveal my sin to me”
See! Sin to the child of God is detestable….it taste like vomit in their mouth. Let me ask you! Does your sin taste that way? Or does it taste good? He came to reveal a living hope to lost sinners like you and me! J C Ryle said “The greatest majority of mankind have neither understood, nor receive, nor laid upon the light offered to them by Christ. He is the eternal fountain of life. He has been and always will be a constant shining light! As John wrote “light shines in darkness” literally means “shines continually” in the darkness of a world that refuses or rejects the idea of a Jesus or wanting a personal relationship with one. This also means! Jesus is continually bombarding every corner of our hearts [His sanctified children] of darkness through the work of the Holy Spirit. But the sad reality is that this light will be met with resistance and opposition….but darkness cannot and will not “comprehend it”. This means over rule or overcome its power despite what you see and read in the culture.
Here is a helpful reminder as we close from the writer of Hebrews!
Heb 2:5-18 “For it was not to angels that God subjected the world to come, of which we are speaking. It has been testified somewhere, "What is man, that you are mindful of him, or the son of man, that you care for him? You made him for a little while lower than the angels; you have crowned him with glory and honor, putting everything in subjection under his feet." Now in putting everything in subjection to him, he left nothing outside his control. At present, we do not yet see everything in subjection to him. But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone. For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the founder of their salvation perfect through suffering. For he who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one source. That is why he is not ashamed to call them brothers, saying, "I will tell of your name to my brothers; in the midst of the congregation I will sing your praise." And again, "I will put my trust in him." And again, "Behold, I and the children God has given me." Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery. For surely it is not angels that he helps, but he helps the offspring of Abraham. Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.”
Our mighty Incarnate Son of God. Our God who became flesh to shine a light with the purpose of giving eternal life to a fallen and rebellious world. As John Piper said in one of his sermons which I think is very fitting for the season! “Christmas is mainly preparation for Good Friday.” Never forget that wonderful truth! The Incarnate Christ came in the flesh to save sinners from His wrath that is yet to come. As Charles Wesley wrote…..
Hark! the herald angels sing,
“Glory to the newborn King!”
Christ, by highest Heav’n adored;
Christ the everlasting Lord;
Late in time, behold Him come,
Offspring of a virgin’s womb.
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see;
Hail th’incarnate Deity,
Pleased with us in flesh to dwell,
Jesus our Emmanuel.