Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Word Became Flesh

The Word became flesh and blood,
      and moved into the neighborhood.
   We saw the glory with our own eyes,
      the one-of-a-kind glory,
      like Father, like Son,
   Generous inside and out,
      true from start to finish. (John 1:14, The Message)

It is an amazing thing to ponder that the eternal, infinite God, creator of all things—visible and invisible—became human. He became incarnate. He took on a human body. He moved into our neighborhood.  

Several years ago I had the great privilege of visiting Israel, the very neighborhood in which Jesus lived, and worked, and ministered. I saw with my own eyes
  • the cave in Bethlehem where Jesus was born and lay in a manger,
  • the ruins of the village of Nazareth where Jesus was a boy and grew up,
  • the very spot on the Jordan River where Jesus was baptized by John,
  • the desert wilderness where he fasted for 40 days and was tempted by the devil, and
  • the region around the Sea of Galilee where he ministered, where he performed many miracles like the multiplication of the loaves and fishes to feed 5,000 people, and gave the greatest sermon ever given—the Sermon on the Mount.

We spent some days in Jerusalem where we
  • walked on the very stone streets where Jesus walked,
  • sat on the very steps where he would have preached,
  • visited the ruins of the Pool of Salome and Bethesda where he healed the blind and the lame,
  • stood on the Mt. of Olives and heard the Scripture of Jesus’ triumphal entry on the donkey into Jerusalem,
  • saw the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus was betrayed and arrested, 
  • descended into the dungeon prison at the palace of Caiaphas where he was tried,
  • went to the place where Jesus’ real human body “suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried… and on the third day rose again,” according to the Scriptures.

As we visited place after place, the truth I have known and believed for so long sunk a little deeper into my heart and soul: our God is a God who has come to us in a real time and real space.

Our God is a God who comes to us. In the incarnation, the Son of God, the second person of the Trinity, humbled himself and was born into this world as a tiny baby to a virgin named Mary in the town of Bethlehem. This is a staggering truth.

Friends, our faith is not some esoteric idea. Our faith is grounded in a real person—Jesus of Nazareth and the historical events that happened to him in real time and space. Take time to ponder the enormous depths of this mystery of our faith and to give thanks and praise to our great, eternal God who has come to us Jesus Christ our Lord.

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