Christmas Devotion – Day 2 (σάρξ)

“The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. We observed his glory, the glory as the one and only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

John 1:14

σάρξ (“flesh”) 

It is tempting, in the Christmas season, to read over this word without giving it the pregnant pause it deserves. The transcendent, eternal God of the ages stepped down off of his throne in Heaven not only to condescend to the human habitation, but to take on the flesh of his pinnacle creation. Philippians Chapter 2 explains the humiliation of the λόγος in more detail: “who, existing in the form of God did not consider equality with God as something to be exploited. Instead he emptied himself by assuming the form of a servant, taking on the likeness of humanity.”

In this Christ-child God has not only come to us, he has become one of us. This is the meaning of the word “incarnate” – to be embodied in human form; the fullness of God’s nature is joined bodily with the fullness of human flesh. This is what has historically been called the hypostatic union of Christ – two natures combined in one.1 In early Christianity, there was vigorous debate over this doctrine. Today Christians everywhere acknowledge that the Bible clearly teaches both its reality and its necessity. The hypostatic union has major implications for the Christian doctrines of substitutionary atonement and resurrection, to name only two.

Hebrews 2:14 explains that it was necessary for Jesus to be a partaker in our flesh in order to destroy the one who has power over the flesh. The λόγος, whom we recognize this season as an unassuming infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger, is both fully God and fully man. In order for the redemptive plan of God to unfold, the λόγος could not simply have come among us. He must have also become one of us. And so, because God is so merciful and so kind toward us, “the λόγος became σάρξ.”

“In order for the redemptive plan of God to unfold, the λόγος could not simply have come among us. He must have also become one of us. And so, because God is so merciful and so kind toward us, “the Word became flesh.”

While you are, no doubt, bombarded with images of a baby in a manger this season, take pause to contemplate the gravity of that moment in history when God condescended to us and became one of us. Conceived of the Holy Spirit in the womb of a virgin, then born into the world he created wrapped in the flesh of his creation.

The greatest gift anyone can receive this Christmas season is that God wrapped himself in flesh to become one of us, with us so that he could satisfy his own wrath against us, instead of us, for us.

“The greatest gift anyone can receive this Christmas season is that God wrapped himself in flesh to become one of us, with us so that he could satisfy his own wrath against us, instead of us, for us.”

The λόγος became σάρξ.

Grace and Peace,
Tony

[CLICK HERE for Christmas Words Day 1 Devotional (λόγος).]

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