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At Christmas we celebrate the incarnation, when God became man in the person of our Lord Jesus. It is a wondrous thing: God with us!
The incarnation was not necessary for God to exercise or show His awesome power. Rather, Scripture tells us in Hebrews 2 that Christ was incarnate so that He could taste death for us, to defeat death, to set His people free from fear of death, and to suffer in His humanity to become a faithful High Priest, to make reconciliation for our sins to God.
He was incarnate to be the substitute Man in the judgment in our place.
Perversely, Christ's real humanity became the basis for His condemnation and deliverance unto death by the Jews. They demanded that Immanuel exercise the awesome power of God as their political savior. But when Jesus declared He came to die for their sins, they hated Him for that.
They rejected the perfect sacrifice and perversely, they then offered Christ up at Calvary as the perfect Lamb of God.
Little is said of Christ's appearance - He was a human child, a boy, a young man, an adult male, a dead man, and then a risen man who lives forever with the wounds that saved us!
But Isaiah said He would astonish the world because His face was disfigured more than any man!
Wicked men tried to stamp out His visage as a man, by torture and violence and wounding, and by insulting, rejecting and denying His identity as a man. They did this with slaps, beatings, thorns, nails, and a spear.
It was His gentleness and humility and purpose that enraged sinners so again Him! They thought it proved He could not be Messiah.
But to His saved ones, His visage is precious, even if marred! He is highly exalted!
John Pittman Hey was born in 1961 in Jackson, Mississippi, to Godly parents who from the beginning raised him in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. With child-like faith he came to Christ on his fourth birthday at his mother's knee. He received his education at church school,...