Summary: Why did god take on flesh in the person of Christ?
Last time, we spoke of how Paul says that Christ is the eternal God of the universe who laid aside His eternal rights in order to accomplish His eternal purpose. Paul further says that in accomplishing His eternal purpose, Jesus Christ, the eternal God of the universe, took on human flesh. Why did God choose to reach out to mankind in this way? We might think that we would have surely done things differently. But then, we do not possess the wisdom and understanding of God.
A man sat under an oak tree with a friend. They were discussing creation and how God did things. He said if he were God, he would have done a few things differently. “For example,” he said, “I wouldn’t have wasted the strength of the oak tree on a little acorn. I would have designed the oak to bear a much larger fruit, like say, a watermelon.” Right then, an acorn fell on his head. “On second thought,” he said, “maybe God did know what He was doing.”
God does know what He is doing, and He especially knew what He was doing when He took on human flesh in the person of Christ. Paul tells us why God became flesh in verse 7.
1. God became flesh in order to bring revelation to us -
“made in human likeness”
A. Through Jesus Christ, we have revealed what God is like -
I can look at nature and learn things about God. I can notice the order of things and learn that God is a God of order. I can look at the wonder of creation and learn that God is a God of wonder. I can examine some of the mighty miracles of creation and learn that God is a God of power. But through the life of Jesus Christ, I learn that God is a God of forgiveness, compassion, mercy, grace, and restoration. Everything I need to know about what God is like is made known to me through the person of Jesus Christ. God has made Himself known in various ways, but the ultimate revelation of Himself is found in Jesus Christ.
“Long ago God spoke many times and in many ways to our ancestors through the prophets. But now in these final days, he has spoken to us through his Son. God promised everything to the Son as an inheritance, and through the Son he made the universe and everything in it. The Son reflects God’s own glory, and everything about him represents God exactly.” - Hebrews 1:1-3a (NLT)
B. Through Jesus Christ, we have revealed what life can be like -
“I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).” - John 10:10b (Amplified)
“It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone.” - Ephesians 1:11-12 (The Message)
Many in our world today are not living. They are merely existing. They wake up, go to work or school, come home, watch TV and go to bed for about 60-80 years and then they die. But through the way Jesus lived, we have revealed how it is possible for us to walk with God and relate positively to others and the world around us. We learn how we can live a life of purpose and significance.
He was born in an obscure village. The child of a peasant woman, he grew up in another obscure village, where he worked in a carpenter shop until he was thirty. He never wrote a book, he never held an office, he never went to college, he never visited a big city, he never travelled more than two hundred miles from the place where he was born. He did none of the things usually associated with greatness. He had no credentials but himself. He was only thirty three. His friends ran away. One of them denied him. He was turned over to his enemies and went through the mockery of a trial. He was nailed to a cross between two thieves. While dying, his executioners gambled for his clothing, the only property he had on earth. When he was dead, he was laid in a borrowed grave through the pity of a friend. Nineteen centuries have come and gone. And today Jesus is the central figure of the human race; and the leader of mankind’s progress. All the armies that have ever marched; all the navies that have ever sailed; all the parliaments that have ever sat; all the kings that ever reigned, put together, have not affected the life of mankind on earth as powerfully as that one solitary life. - Dr James Allan © 1926.