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12 Days of Christmas Correction – The Sacrificial Baby

Posted by undergroundchurch on December 8, 2009


Several years ago when studying the birth of Jesus, the Lord led me into an interesting understanding of the power ofthe birth.  Hopefully this will give you new insight as it did to me.

The birth of Jesus is the known in theological sounding terms as the “incarnation”.  This fancy term simply means that God became man and dwelt among us (John 1).  This act was essential to the death Jesus would have to experience for our sins.  The lamb of God would have to die, and it would be His blood that would provide all the payment needed for the sin of man.  As critical as the sacrifice of Jesus is to us and the believer’s salvation, I always had this question,

How can Jesus die if he is God?

I mean, God paid the price, the sacrifice, for our sins.  For a sacrifice to mean something in God’s eyes, there has to be a loss.  How can it be then that Jesus would come to earth as a babe, take on the form of man, go through the death on the cross and then ascend into heaven and be with God again and everything be as it was before?  Where is God’s sacrifice if God cannot die?

This is where the incarnation comes into play.  The sacrifice for our sins is the death of Jesus, but the sacrifice God made was the incarnation.  Let me explain.

The Bible tells us in John 1 that, “in the beginning was the Word (Jesus) and the Word was with God and God was the Word ” (literal translation).  We know that Jesus, who was and is the Word of God, existed before the incarnation, but what did he “look” like?  What was His makeup?

We know from Scripture that “God is Spirit”.  The Father, Son and Holy Spirit, what we label as the “Trinity”, have always existed, yet before the incarnation, it is almost impossible to determine the difference between them.  The role inside the Godhead is quite blurry to us.

However, the incarnation not only changed the roles and purpose of Jesus, it changed every aspect of his being.  Consider this:

  1. Before the incarnation, he was equal with the Father in responsibility, after, he became submissive to the Father even to death (Philippians 2)
  2. Before the incarnation, he was spirit, afterwards though, he was eternally altered into a fully functioning human body. (John 4:24)

The Birth of Jesus set into motion events the would eternally alter the very existence of God.  Jesus is presently sitting at the Father’s right hand in human form – we can see him (if you can see into heaven).  Stephen sees him in Acts. John sees him in Revelation as, the “Lamb the is slain”.  After the resurrection, everyone sees his heavenly body and even Paul states that we will become as he is…

But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body. – Philippians 3:20,21

God’s sacrifice was not just simply dying on a cross, that act merely sealed the deal. The incarnation was a one-way  trip for Jesus! There was no turning back.

  • Had Jesus come as a baby and failed in his mission (sinned), he would have been as man forever and his sacrificial death would have been meaninless.
  • Had Jesus come as a baby and succeeded in winning the Jews over (which was not his intent, but it was possible), He would have become their Messiah to rule and reign over them. (Fortunately for us Gentile people, the Jews rejected him making it possible for us – and them- to be saved.) Point is that he would have still been a man forever.
  • But Jesus did come as a baby and succeeded in a sinless life and complete obedience to God in death thus becoming our sacrifice.  But more than that, he is still a man (fully God) but fully man.

The sacrifice God made was the incarnation… He placed an eternal mark on deity by sending the Word to dwell among us.

So next time you sing “Away in a Manger”, or “Little Town of Bethlehem” recognize that the birth of Jesus was more than a simple act.  It was the beginning of the death of God… it was the first time in eternity that God would change.  It showed us once again, that the love of God is bigger than we can imagine and that the things He goes through for us are beyond our imagination.

“The Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world” – Revelation 13:8

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