The kids and I have been studying ancient history this semester and we've been reading a book called Augustus Caesar's World. I have no gripes with the book, but as with most history books Jesus is presented simply as a historical person. That's all. What does the Bible say about who Jesus was and is?
"In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men... And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth." (John 1:1-4&14)
So according to this Jesus is God and existed prior to the creation of the world. Remember that God spoke the world into existance, well, Jesus is the Word by which it was spoken. We see in these verses Christ's eternality, preeminence, and great power.
My favorite verses about the incarnation, or the great humiliation of Christ as it is otherwise called, are Philippians 2:5-8. "Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross."
What a beautiful picture of the second member of the Trinity laying aside His deity in order to become man that He might redeem us.
What if Jesus were only a man? Could He have redeemed us? Could He have truly been a perfect sacrifice for our sins? No, He could not have. Certainly He could have been a wise teacher, but not an unblemished lamb able to make propitiation for our sins.
As we struggle to put Christ at the center of Christmas with our kids, let's remind them that Jesus was more than a man, He was Emmanuel, "God with us", and He lives today in heaven at the right hand of God making intercession for us. He may have begun His journey in human flesh as a baby in a manger in Bethlehem, but that certainly wasn't His beginning any more than the ascension was His end. As the cherubim are saying in heaven, "Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!" (Revelation 4:8)
- I'm an on-the-run mom to 6 kids who studied and taught exercise science in a previous life. I love all things running, nutrition, and health-related. I usually run at zero dark thirty in the morning and am often quite hungry before, during, and after my run, but I live a rich, full, blessed life with my children, family, and friends. My faith in God is my anchor, and looking to Him and His promises allows me to live fully even when life circumstances are difficult. While running gives me an appetite, my desire is to hunger and thirst for righteousness more than for physical food.