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The Incarnation

“Unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6).

These powerful statements from Isaiah resonate with the description of our Savior, Jesus Christ. His birth was foreshadowed. His sacrifice had been planned from Eternity past. He was willing to leave the glorious presence of God the Father to take on human flesh.

God became man and dwelt among us and we beheld His glory. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth” (John 1:1,14).

What if there had never been an incarnation? What if God had not become man? Where would we be and what difference would it make? There would be no sinless sacrifice to pay the penalty of death for the sins that separate man from God. There would be no resurrection after death into the glorious presence of God.

Because He came, we have access to the Father through the Son. The penalty of our sins was paid by the only One qualified to do so. “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

Because He came, we also have a model by which to live: “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (Philippians 2:5-8).

George Frideric Handel’s 1741 oratorio, Messiah, captures the birth of Christ magnificently. At the end of the manuscript Handel wrote the letters “SDG”—Soli Deo Gloria. Yes, yes, yes—to God be the glory forever and ever—because He came.

—Gail Seidel, adapted