The Incarnation is perhaps one of those words that mean nothing to most people outside of Christian circles. And yet, it is one of those sublime words that ‘attempt’ to describe something that is simply, too stunning and wondrous to put into words, let alone one word.

To put it as simply as I can – the Incarnation is something we refer to when talking about Jesus Christ being born into the world over 2,000 years ago. In essence, that is it! That is what a Christian is referring to whenever that word is mentioned. And yet, it means so much more than that.

Jesus birth was prophesied in detail in Isaiah specifically…

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. (Isaiah 7:14Isaiah 7:14
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

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)

And again in (Isaiah 9:6Isaiah 9:6
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

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), For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

These two verses alone are startling enough. That a virgin would conceive a male child and would call Him Immanuel. Now, before we go any further, there will be objections such as, “well Jesus was not called Immanuel.” And this is quite true. But the point is, ‘Immanuel’ was never intended to be His name – it was intended to describe Him. The Hebrew translation of Immanuel means, ‘with us is God’ or ‘God with us.’ So we see, very clearly, that the Messiah or Immanuel to come, would be God Himself. The title Immanuel, was simply a description of God and His physical presence when He came into the world, when He was born into it.

Jesus declared Himself to be God, in His Sonship, when He said, “I and the Father are one” – (John 10:30John 10:30
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).  And ‘doubting Thomas’ famous statement directed at Jesus, “my Lord and my God” – (John 20:28John 20:28
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

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).  Incidentally, Jesus never rebuked Thomas for calling Him God. Something which He would have almost certainly have done if indeed, He were not God to begin with.

So Jesus being born into the world (His Incarnation), was the fulfilment of Isaiah’s and other Old Testament prophecy. In His Incarnation, God Himself is ‘with us,’ walked among us, lived and even died on earth. But we must also mention that Jesus did not come into existence at His birth in Bethlehem. Jesus is the ‘eternal’ Son of God.  Not the first created being as some think this might mean. Eternal means without beginning. If Jesus is the eternal Son of God then there never was a time that He wasn’t the Son of God. In other words, He was not created. He has always been the Son of God. In essence, perfectly God, like the Father.

The Bible says of Jesus, “For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily;” – (Colossians 2:9Colossians 2:9
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

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). It states that Jesus is fully God. And so in His Incarnation, we have a factual and historical account of God fulfilling His promises. Of His great promise to step down out of eternity and into human history.

Yes, the Incarnation is perhaps, simply explained as Jesus coming into the world, but it means so much more. It means that the eternal God has come into the world, and this very God, was timeless before He was even born into it. As He lay in the manger at His birth, He was older than His mother Mary who gazed down upon Him. He was older than the stable, or the town of Bethlehem. He was in fact, older than the very planet He stepped down into. This baby who lay on a bed of straw, was the one who had created the Universe and everything in it.

Yes, the Incarnation is a mind-expanding, mind-blowing, breath-taking, awe-inspiring, glimpse of the greatest of all miracles. That God, who is timeless and immense in His vastness, should restrict Himself to the frame of a baby. That He should clothe Himself in human flesh. This is truly quite stunning.

The Incarnation, yes, it’s about Jesus coming into the world. But it’s about so much more than perhaps we dare to consider or meditate upon at times. Perhaps, as we approach the start of 2015, we should ponder more carefully and deliberately upon what God has done in His Incarnation. He’s become what we are – so we can become what He is. He came to take our sin – and to see that sin borne in His body as it hung upon the cross. To pay a price we couldn’t pay – to provide a salvation we couldn’t earn.