We are flesh. We are limited by human bodies in a world cursed with sin. The strongest among us are still weak. The healthiest among us still become sick. Our bodies don’t always work the way they’re supposed to. And eventually, our flesh will succumb to that last enemy, death.
Contrast our condition with that of God. He is not bound by flesh, for he is spirit (John 4:24). He is the Alpha and the Omega, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty (Revelation 1:8). God does not fear sickness or death, for he alone has immortality; he dwells in unapproachable light, and no one has ever seen or can see him (1 Timothy 6:16). He is the King of the Ages, our immortal, invisible God, and to him belong the honor and glory forever (1 Timothy 1:17).
God became flesh for us
But beyond all his power and greatness, God’s defining attribute is love (1 John 4:8). And that incomprehensible love caused him to give up everything for us. Jesus—the Word of God, who is God—became a human.
“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” —John 1:14
God, who is spirit, became flesh. The one who is, who was, and who is to come stepped into our time. The Almighty made himself weak. The immortal God made himself mortal. The invisible God made himself visible—in Christ we see God’s incredible glory!
Perhaps no one put it more poetically than Charles Wesley in a verse of his well-known hymn “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing”:
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see;
Hail the incarnate Deity,
Pleased as man with man to dwell,
Jesus, our Emmanuel.
Yet even that has been criticized for being too imprecise. He was not merely “veiled in flesh”—Jesus actually became fully human. The author of Hebrews wrote that “he had to be made like his brothers in every respect” (Hebrews 2:17).
The greatest sacrifice
Still, becoming one of us was not Jesus’ greatest sacrifice: “And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:8). His entrance into this world as a human was just the first step leading up to the pinnacle of history, when Jesus—the immortal God—would die on a cross for our sins.
But Jesus did not stay dead! On the third day, God raised him back to life. And today, Jesus “is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven” (Hebrews 8:1). Christ’s body is now powerful, glorified, and imperishable.
One day, we who have placed our faith in him will be raised to a new body (1 Corinthians 15:42–44). Until then, let us praise God for the incredible gift we have been given—his Son, Jesus Christ, come in the flesh to dwell among us.
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