Day 7: The Incarnation, Pt. 1

“Christ’s incarnation was a greater and more wonderful thing than ever had yet come to pass. The creation of the world was a very great thing, but not so great as the incarnation of Christ. It was a great thing for God to make the creature, but not so great as for the Creator himself to become a creature.” — Jonathan Edwards[1]

God become man — it’s too easy to pass over as a mystery (which it is) and never take the time to unpack how mind-boggling and yet wonderful this gospel-truth is. Since the incarnation is the very heart of Christmas itself, it’s worth inspecting from every angle, as if we’re holding up a diamond to admire the shimmer and gleam of each new slant in the light. To grasp the sheer depth of what it took to make the Son of God man, let’s break it down with the help of the Puritans, undoubtedly some of the deepest thinkers and observers of scripture of all time.

1. Consider how deep Christ’s joy was in the eternity spent with His Father:

As God himself, Jesus never knew anything of pain, suffering, the curse of the law, grief, poverty, discomfort, shame, temptation, or separation from God. Imagine how much sheer happiness came from the perfect relationship of the Father and the Son:

“We cannot but conceive it to be a state of matchless happiness, if we consider the persons enjoying; and delighting each in [each other]… God you know is the Fountain, Ocean, and Center of all delights and joys, Psalm. 16.11. in thy presence is fulness of joy. To be wrapped up in the soul; and bosom of all delights as Christ was, must needs be a state transcending apprehension [comprehension]: to have the Fountain of love, and delight, letting out itself so immediately and fully, and everlastingly upon this only begotten darling of his soul [Christ], so as it never did communicate itself to any [one else]; judge what a state of transcendent felicity [happiness] this must be?” — John Flavel[2]

In other words, if we decipher Flavel’s old English, consider how much delight and enjoyment Christ must have received if he placed all his happiness in God, who is the fountain of joy itself? On this earth, we have but a broken, infinitesimal ability to enjoy what is most enjoyable. But Christ has both what is most satisfying, God himself, and the capacity to fully experience every aspect of that joy.

This thought makes the incarnation so beyond our comprehension, that Christ would leave this perfect happiness to suffer amongst and for us. This is a great reason to rejoice this advent!

Tomorrow, we’ll delve deeper into the incarnation, but today, let me leave you with Flavel’s own application, as we consider just how much joy and fulfillment the Father and the Son found in each other!

“How worthy is Jesus Christ of all our love, and delight? You see how infinitely the Father delighteth in him, how he ravishes the heart of God; and shall he not ravish our hearts? I present you a Christ this day, able to ravish any soul that will but view, and consider him. O that you did but see this lovely Lord, Jesus Christ! Then would you go home sick of love: surely, he is a drawing Saviour, Jn. 12:32. Why do we lavish away our precious affections upon vanity? None but Christ is worthy of them![3]

[1] Part 1, Of Christ’s Incarnation

[2] John Flavel, The Fountain of Life Opened (London: 1673), brackets mine.

[3] Ibid., emphasis mine.

[4] Ibid., emphasis and brackets mine.

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