This post is the second in a three-part series on the Incarnation and what it proves to the world about God’s love. You can view the first post here. Come back on Friday for a special Christmas Flash Freebie!
Sometimes when I think about the incarnation of Christ, my head hurts.
You, too? Don’t worry, you can be honest.
I mean, I believe it. I’m thankful for it. And I celebrate the incarnation with great joy!
But when I sit down to truly explain it to myself – how the transcendent God could become human or how God could have two natures at the same time – the thoughts in my head get jumbled up like that knotted necklace I found at the bottom of my purse.
But here’s the thing. The incarnation gives us evidence of many things. And some of those things actually are easily understood.
- The incarnation proves to us that God is good. It speaks to who God is.
- The incarnation proves to us that God is the Creator. It speaks to what God does.
Haven’t you ever wondered why the Father sent the Son as the agent of salvation? Perhaps he could have sent his Spirit? Or could the Father could have come himself instead of sending the Son?
Why was it the Son who entered the world as an infant on that dark night in Bethlehem?
Colossians 1 gives us two reasons why that infant was the Son and no other.
1. The Son was selected as the agent of salvation for a very important reason: Christ is the agent of Creation!
Col. 1:16-17 says: “For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.”
The Son is the Agent of Creation. John calls him the Word or logos – a Greek word meaning the ‘spoken’ word (John 1:1). So, when God spoke creation into existence in Gen. 1, he did so through the Son who is the spoken, life-giving Word of God.
Basically in Col. 1, Paul is saying that Christ – as the spoken Word of God – is responsible for the act of creation.
So, what does the role of Creator have to do with the incarnation? Athanansius, the 4th century bishop of Alexandra gives us a clue.
In his powerful little book, On the Incarnation, the five-time exile writes: “Who, save the Word of God himself, who also in the beginning made all things out of nothing? His part it was, and His alone, both to bring again the corruption to incorruption and to maintain for the Father His consistency of character with all. For He alone, being Word of the Father and above all, was in consequence was able to recreate all, and worthy to suffer on behalf of all and be an ambassador for all with the Father.” (emphasis mine)
It is the role of the spoken, Living Word of God to produce life through creation. Because it was he who produced life in us the first time, it is only fitting that he should bear the task of becoming human so that we might be re-created in Him.
That leads us to the second point in Colossians.
2. The Son was selected as the agent of salvation for another important reason: Christ is the agent our Re-creation!
Listen to Col. 1:19-20: “For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.”
The Word taking on flesh had to occur in order for us to be re-created into the image of Christ! Our re-creation occurs only because the Word took on flesh and died to conquer evil for us. He reconciles us – and all creation – to the Father.
Read the rest of this passage. Col. 1:21-23 says: “And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight— if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister.”
The incarnation proves a lot. It stands as indisputable evidence of God’s love for his creation. It proves God is purely good to his creation. And it also proves that God alone is the Creator and qualified to serve as the agent of man’s re-creation.
This truth stands diametrically opposed to those who believe good works have saving power. This truth decimates the belief that church tradition or any other human can influence where one spends eternity.
So, why did God send the Son – and not himself or his Spirit?
Scripture tells us the Son is the agent of creation who made all things in the beginning, and therefore, is the unique person of the Godhead tasked with remaking us into God’s image again.
Merry Christmas everyone! We have much to celebrate this Christmas – praising our Loving Creator who consistently works in and through his creation. God truly is God With Us!
 On the Incarnation: Saint Athanasius with an introduction by C.S. Lewis (St Vladimirs Seminary Press, 2012), 33.