First, we apologize for the hiccup with the “Infamy” post. I’m sure it will live on in infamy for a short time. We simply hit the wrong button; it isn’t ready to be published, yet. But when it is, you can bet it will indeed be infamous. Second, this will be our last post of 2014. (Unless, of course, it’s not. Then we’ll post again. Whatever the Lord would have.) Thank you for reading and participating in the discussion. Have a merry Christmas and a happy New Year, and follow the Life!
Over 2000 years ago, the whole of creation turned its attention to a tiny town nestled between the Great and Salt Seas called Bethlehem. In this tiny town in the region of Judea, God’s Word became flesh. God’s full thought took His first breath. The insignificance of the event to the surrounding, earthly community was matched only by its significance to the entirety of the spiritual realm. The Son of God had just become the Son of Man.
Why was this event so significant in the heavenlies? Because God was about to reclaim His lost image in the world. He had a Divine conception of manhood, and this manhood was to bear His image. God had wanted an image in creation since before the beginning. It’s why He created in the first place. But his first man, Adam, fell prey to the wiles of the devil, and gave to God’s enemy the very expression God, Himself, was after.
Though God did not have His full thought expressed in the earth, He still had a testimony of it. Great men and women, heroes of the Bible we would call them, rose up to give testimony to God. Each of them possessed some feature of manhood according to God’s thought. T. Austin-Sparks says in the book Spiritual Manhood,
“There was one thing which stood out, upon which God looked, to which God committed Himself, because of which God went on with that man; because that man was, in his heart-relationship with God, being made to reveal one of these marks of manhood as God intended it to be.”
But they all fell short of the full glory. They were all imperfect, incomplete. They all represented a notable feature or characteristic of God’s thought-intention of manhood, but none satisfied God in all respects. Though they were all incomplete, God still had a testimony in them.
Now we come to Jesus Christ. As T. Austin-Sparks says again in Spiritual Manhood,
The next stage and step is the incarnation, the coming in flesh of the Word Who was God, the heavenly Man in the world, the Son of Man: and immediately He became the central object of universal contemplation. Heaven looked on and watched and was most interested. At the birth, angels were present looking on; they were tremendously interested in it. From time to time during His life on earth angels attended, visited, and ministered, succouring in the wilderness, in the garden. In His resurrection they were there at the tomb. It is the manhood that is the object of interest. Hell was very much interested. At the birth, Herod; in the wilderness, Satan; in the Cross, principalities and powers. To use the simile of the Psalmist – “They compassed me about like bees” (Psa. 118:12) – swarms of evil spirits investing Him. Hell was tremendously interested in this manhood. And earth was interested, men were interested, watching, perplexed. He is the centre of universal interest.
So, why did God come in man-form? For 2 reasons: 1) to bring in a Man fully in accord with God’s thought-intention and set Him as the Divine pattern, and 2) to destroy the works of the devil in man.
For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. ~ 1 John 3:8
Immanuel, God with us. Here to reclaim the image stolen in the garden. Here to utterly defeat the work of the devil and give mankind a new humanity into which to be born. The Son of God here to become the Son of Man. The incarnation of Christ. So small, yet so significant. And He still is the center of universal interest. Amen.