I don’t remember what day it was or what I was doing, but I know that when I finally understood the implications of Jesus’s coming to earth, I was changed. In the world of theological discourse, this idea is called the Doctrine of the Incarnation. It such a beautiful doctrine I will, from time to time, bring it up randomly in conversation with other believers.
Jesus’s entrance into the world is one of the pillars of the Christian faith. It is so important that the apostle John said that if it is rejected, then Jesus himself is rejected (1 John 4:2; 2 John 7). Go read those passage for yourself! They are startling.
The incarnation is remarkable because only God would devise such a plan. Only God would choose to leave heaven and enter the ravaged reality of Earth. Only God could leave the perfection and purity of the highest heaven and descend into the mire of sin-filled humanity. This is the great mystery of Bible-based religion. Not that man was able to find his way into the presence of God, but that God has entered into the plight of a broken world.
I love this doctrine. It is beautiful in the way that it displays the love of God and the miracle of salvation. Easter is the greatest day on the Christian calendar. It is the day that Jesus rises from the darkness of the tomb. But, without Advent, without Christmas, without a baby, born in a manger, Easter Sunday would be a fairytale. It would be impossible, it would never have happened. The link between these two events is necessary for the whole picture to be accurate.
So, as we approach Easter, as we look forward with anticipation to the promise that Resurrection Sunday brings, I like to look back and see what arrived on Christmas Day. In this season of Lent, we can take time and reflect on both what happened and what is to come. In fact, it is important that we do so.