A Wonderful Tradition

Many Christians around the world have divided and various opinions about Christmas. It has become so commercialised; it has pagan roots, and our societies focus on much that is ungodly at this time. But on the other hand, while there is much mixture surrounding "Christmas", at least western culture, and now many other cultures, have developed a tradition to base a holiday around the greatest mystery ever revealed: that "God was manifested in the flesh" 1 Timothy 3:16.

Never lose the wonder

Never lose the awesome wonder and amazement of this mystery. God became a man. Think about this. Meditate upon it. Let this truth fill your heart with praise and adoration. The true and living God, who created all things, humbled Himself and entered this world as an infant.
Consider these things:
God entering into flesh
• The Divine entering into man
• Heaven coming on earth
• The Holy entering the unclean
• The Eternal clothing Himself in the temporal
• The Creator entering into the creation
• Light filling the darkness
• Perfection entering into the imperfect
• The Glory veiled in a jar of clay

Never lose the wonder of this awesome event which shook the heavens and the earth and continues to rumble and reverberate into our lives after two thousand years. This event changed history forever. This event has changed me and continues to shape and change the world now.

The Word, who is God, became flesh

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God...And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us..." John 1:1,14. The Word is God. The Word became flesh. The Word entered humanity. The Word tabernacled in a human body on the earth. This is an awesome mystery. The Word lived on the earth. The same Word which created all things (Jn.1:3) entered into the Creation and walked and talked with man. "He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him" John 1:9.

When God speaks, creation forms

"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void; and darkness was over the face of the deep ... Then God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light" Genesis 1:1-3. When the heavens and the earth were created, the earth had no shape; it was without form. It was empty, futile and unfruitful; void. It had no light; dark. As soon as God spoke (the Word), light came. Once the Word came, form and shape began to take place and the emptiness began to be filled.

The Word came into the darkness

"In Him [the Word] was life and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness and the darkness did not comprehend it" John 1:4-5. The Word is life. The Word is light. When God speaks, light comes; understanding comes; revelation knowledge is received. This light "enlightens the eyes of our understanding" (Eph. 1:18). We no longer remain ignorant of who God is.

This light is the Word! And the Word came into the darkness of this world to break us out of the chains of ignorance and set us free from the blindness of unbelief so that the "glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on us" 2 Cor.4:4. He came to "destroy the works of the devil" 1 John 3:8. Jesus, the Word, God in the flesh, came to bring light into our darkness, shape and purpose into our chaos and fill the emptiness of our souls by satiating us with the fullness of His grace (Jn.1:16). The Word came to bring forth a new creation!

God came at the right time

The time of history that Jesus entered into was a time of deep depravity. The society that Jesus was born into did not value life, was full of debauchery and gross sexual immorality. It was a time of slavery, drunkenness, lust for power, witchcraft and idolatry. However, it is written. "But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman... Galatians 4:4. Jesus entered the world at exactly the right time.

Is this mystery being outworked in you?

The Light entered the darkness of this world at a most pitiful time. Do you carry this light today? Is the Word in you? Has He been conceived in your life to lighten the darkness of this world? This mystery of God being "manifested in the flesh" began with Jesus and is fulfilled in us, His body. We are to participate, share and have "fellowship of the mystery" of Christ (Eph.3:9). We are to be "filled with all the fullness of God" (Eph. 3:19).

God has unveiled His heart

God laid Himself bare. God has unveiled Himself to the world and revealed His glory for all to see. For "no one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him" John 1:18. God has declared Himself. God has explained and communicated Himself to the world perfectly. Have you been listening? The Communication and Explanation is JESUS! He is God unveiling Himself. He is God manifesting His love to the world. JESUS is God declaring who He is. If you receive the testimony of Jesus you have "certified that God is true" John 3:33.

What joy!

"I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord" Luke 2:10-11. The entry of God into the world has released an eternal joy for all people. It is good news. It is the gospel. It brings great joy!
God has come! He has not left us nor forsaken us. He is "God with us" (Matt.1:23). This revelation brings to our spirits a "joy unspeakable and full of glory" (1 Pet.1:7). God, the Saviour and Messiah, has come! The angels communicated this with such great joy and promise, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace and goodwill toward men!" Luke 2:14. God coming into the world has demonstrated His goodwill toward us! "God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them" 2 Cor. 5:19. Hallelujah!

What hope!

God came into the world to fulfil the promise of the prophets. "He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end" Luke 1:32-33. God came into the world to be King. He came as a Man to be King. "Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end" Isaiah 9:7. The hope that has been released by His coming is eternal. It is of a kingdom which increases without end.
The hope is that oppression, tyranny and unrighteous rulership will give way to "righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit" Romans 14:17. Chains of oppression are broken by His anointing. We can enter a new world. We can enter a new realm. We can enter a new creation. We can be part of a different government!

This mystery sets God apart!

This mystery separates God from every other so called "god". This mystery reveals that God is humble and lowly of heart. Christ Jesus, who "being in the form of God...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 death, even the death of the cross" Philippians 2:6-8. No other "god" is like this. That is why there is no assurance of forgiveness, no assurance of mercy and love outside of the Messiah! God has revealed His humility and love toward us. This mystery sets God apart.

Celebrate this mystery

Whatever you may have thought of "Christmas" I encourage you to use this time as another opportunity to preach, teach and share this great mystery! The solution to the world has come! God Himself has come! Charles Wesley, the great hymn writer of the eighteenth century penned this mystery as:

Veiled in the flesh the Godhead see,

Hail the Incarnate Deity,

Pleased as man with men to dwell,

Jesus, our Immanuel

Never lose the awe and wonder of God who was "manifested in the flesh".

by Nicholas Jackson