The gospel of Luke tells us of a young betrothed virgin named Mary, who becomes God chosen one to bear His only Son (“And the angel said to her, “And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High.”” Luke 1:31) She was conceived of the Holy Spirit (“And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy--the Son of God.” Luke 1:35). When Joseph, her betrothed, saw that she was with child, and did not know of the angels visit, he had doubts. Just when he was going to divorce her, an angel visited him and told that she was conceived of the Holy Spirit. He believed, and they were wed.
Unfortunately Caesar sent out a decree forcing Joseph to journey to
But why did all this have to happen? Why did God humble Himself to the likeness of man and live among us? For the answer we must go back to the beginning of time. God created all things good and Adam and Eve lived happily in the Garden of Eden, without sin or death. When they were placed in it, they were forbidden to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, if committed they would surly die along with everything else (“And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” Gen.2:16). Foolishly they disobeyed. Sin entered. Death entered. All mankind is now a sinful dying creature.
Being all good and just, God is a natural hater of sin. He is wrathful towards us and demands atonement for all that we have done. God set up a system of sacrifices, but those were not good enough. They were only foreshadows of the true, perfect sacrifice – Jesus Christ. We needed a perfect man to atone for us. Yet because of Adam man is tainted by sin, so He cannot be perfect. Only by God taking the form of man, could there be a perfect man, a perfect sacrifice. This is why Christ had to become a man. This is the reason for the Incarnation.
Why is all this significant? What is most important about it? What can we take from it?
Heb. 2:17-18 “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. 18 For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.” Christ had to become a man in order to make atonement for the lost sheep, as we talked about. His full humanity is the basis on which it is possible for Him to represent us, indeed take our place in dying for us. Being conceived of the Holy Sprit, born of Mary, Jesus is both truly man and truly God. By this He was the perfect sacrifice for yours and my sins.
This verse also points to the fact that He was tempted like us. Why? So that He can help us get through our temptations. So that He knows how we are, how to sympathies with us. So that He could take on even more the flesh of man. When we fully understand the significance behind the Incarnation, we appreciate more and more what Christ did. Not only did He become a man. Leave His glory at the right hand of God, and humble Himself to our likeness. But He did all for us—to die for us. A spotless innocent lamb, dying for us—dirty, rebellious beings. This is the significance of the Incarnation.
In conclusion, I have told the story of the Incarnation, the reason it had to be done and lastly the significance of it all. Just remember that in the Incarnation, the Son of God took upon Himself human nature and flesh in order to accomplish the redemption of Adam’s fallen seed. This is what the season is about…and we can’t forget it!