The incarnation is an audacious doctrine. The belief that the Creator of the universe “became flesh” is astonishing. An immeasurable chasm is fixed between the infinite God and finite man—and it was crossed when Jesus was born in a manger in Bethlehem!
Understandably, this doctrine has stirred imaginations. The immortal God Whom heaven cannot contain—now snug in a manger? The hands that span galaxies—now clinging to a mother’s finger? The voice that boomed in the beginning, creating everything out of nothing—now cooing nonsensical syllables as an infant? And all of that from the womb of a virgin? It’s marvelous!
The belief that the Creator of the universe “became flesh” is astonishing.
But the story of Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem is more than the stuff of Christmas pageants and greeting cards. It is historical fact, and it is the bedrock of the Christian faith—even more crucial to theologians than to poets. B. B. Warfield summarized its importance this way: “The doctrine of the Incarnation is the hinge on which the Christian system turns . . . . No Incarnation, no Christianity in any distinctive sense” (The Works of Benjamin B. Warfield, v. iii, p. 259). That is no hyperbole. The incarnation is as vital to the Christian faith as the crucifixion and the resurrection. To repurpose 1 Corinthians 15:17, “If Christ has not been [born], your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.”
The doctrine of the Incarnation is the hinge on which the Christian system turns.
Ah, but He has been born! Our Maker did become flesh, revealing the unseen God and redeeming fallen people. It’s as true as it is incomprehensible. We do well to meditate on it, not only in the few weeks preceding Christmas, but perpetually. To that end, it is our prayer that these devotionals will magnify the Lord Jesus Christ before you, helping you both understand and marvel at the incarnation. May God be magnified as we explore the wonder that Charles Wesley so beautifully extolled:
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see;
Hail th’incarnate Deity,
Pleased as man with men to dwell,
Jesus, our Emmanuel.
(Taken from the Introduction to Gospel Meditations for Christmas, a new 31-day devotional by Chris Anderson, Joe Tyrpak, and Michael Barrett, intended help us move beyond the mere nostalgia of Christmas and worship the Lord Jesus—the Word made flesh!)