The Incarnation and the Atonement
Some 2,000 years ago, the greatest miracle happened. “The Word became flesh…and dwelt among us” (John 1:1,14). When Christ was born in Bethlehem, the incarnation happened, the Word became flesh! And through the incarnation, the divine and human are united in Christ — atonement! The atonement did not just happen on the cross! It happened even earlier, when Christ was born!
The Christmas Message: Jesus is Immanuel!
According to theologian Thomas F. Torrance, there are two facts that are important to remember. He said that in the gospels, there are two names that were given to the Savior namely: 1) Jesus and, 2) Immanuel. Jesus means “The God who saves” while Immanuel means “God with us.” This is the Christmas message.
The God who saves (Jesus) is God with us (Immanuel)! In other words, Jesus is Immanuel! This is so filled with meaning. Through the incarnation, mankind is now forever in union with the Lord Jesus. And that changes everything. He became our representative and substitute. He stood for us. He vicariously (in our place) lived and died for us. Paul said, “I live, yet not I but Christ lives in me” (Galatians 2:20). He assumed our humanity. He died instead of us, in our place, for our sins. And he lived a righteous life for us too. By becoming one of us, by living a righteous life on our behalf, His righteousness became our righteousness. Through Christ’s birth (incarnation), life, death, resurrection and ascension, we now have been included in God’s life and love! We now have reconciliation. We now have redemption through our Lord Jesus Christ!
The Good News!
This is something worth thinking about. Christmas is a wonderful time to celebrate our redemption! God is inviting you and me to believe it, accept it and enjoy life and love in Jesus! The good news is that you are already loved, included and accepted! Will you accept your acceptance in Him? This is the good news!