When Jesus was born, there were shepherds on the surrounding hills of this region. As they were watching over their flocks, an angel from the Lord appeared to them with a message, “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11). Shortly after this a host of angels appeared in the sky saying, “glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom He is pleased” (Luke 2:14). That was an impressive scene. But why did this happen? The answer is, the King came into the world.
In simple yet profound words the apostle Paul wrote: “the saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” (1 Tim. 1:15). I am struck by those four fascinating words concerning the Lord Jesus Christ, He: “came into the world.” This is a reference to the greatest mission to ever be accomplished in the history of the universe. Let us consider what took place as the eternal Son of God, the second member of the Holy Trinity “came into the world.”
The word ‘incarnation‘ refers to that event in which the Lord Jesus Christ took upon Himself a human nature. Jesus Christ who existed in all eternity (John 1:1), “became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14). This event happened at the right moment of God’s prophetic timetable (Galatians 4:4). The means in which He came into the world was through the virgin conception (Isaiah 7:14).
In this act, Christ Jesus (who is God), became man – and yet remained God. He had set aside the complete independent use of His Divine attributes in a way that He remained God, but it was veiled in His humanity (Philippians 2:7-8). Why was this done? Christ took on human flesh, so that He might take upon Himself human sin. In the words of Thomas Watson, “He took our flesh that he might take our sins, and so appease God’s wrath.” It was necessary that the Lord Jesus Christ had to become a man in-order to represent fallen mankind. If He weren’t a man He wouldn’t be able to die as a substitute for His people – the very ones He came to save. His entrance into the world was without sin (2 Cor 5:21), a perfect baby who came by means of a miraculous entry.
The second phase we will consider of His coming into the world is His ‘earthly life‘. At the divinely appointed time the Lord Jesus Christ commenced His public ministry at the age of thirty (Luke 3:23). The Lord Jesus Christ experienced intense temptation from Satan (Matt 4:1-10 and Luke 4:1-13), yet despite this reality, He never sinned nor was He ever inclined to (Heb 5:15). In the four gospels we are exposed to the precious and life changing words that flowed from His lips. During His ministry He preached and taught “as one who had authority” (Matthew 7:29). In His preaching He demanded repentance
(Matt 4:17), and offered forgiveness of sins (Luke 5:20). He performed many signs and wonders, which served the purpose of authenticating and affirming that He was who He said He was. His miracles pointed to the reality that He is the eternal Son of God. His life was an open book for all to see who He was. There were no failings, no secret sins, no scandals, no lies, no let downs, and no pride. He lived a life where it could be said that He was “holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinners” (Heb 7:26). He lived a perfect life, something that no other man has ever done. Think about it, He could enter the most sinful and tempting situation, and He would not sin. He needed to live a perfect life in-order to be a perfect sacrifice.
The final phase of Christ Jesus coming in the world for us to consider is His ‘death‘. He knew that this is why He came. At the appointed time in His ministry, “He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem” (Luke 9:51 NKJV). It is there where He will be tried by sinners, and will ultimately face something fiercer – the very wrath of God! The time comes when He is tried and arrested. In the process of His trial, many abused and mocked Him (Matt 26:67-68). After further trial He was scourged with a whip that consisted of bones and metal that tore His very flesh from His back and was then sentenced to crucifixion
(Matt 27:26). Yet in the midst of this horror, the Scripture says that He was not ashamed (Isa 50:6-7). He is finally nailed to a wooden cross and publically ridiculed and shamed. Yet despite all of this, He maintains His commitment to His task. In the midst of ridicule He utters the words, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). After He had received the full outpouring of God’s wrath and drunk from this cup of suffering to the final dreg, He declared, “it is finished!”And bowed His head and gave up His spirit”
What is it that took tplace on the cross? Beyond the physical sufferings from sinful man, poured on Him was the very wrath of God. Why? He was at the cross as a substitute for His people (Isa 53:4-6). Though He was tried and murdered by man, Christ laid down His own life willingly in accordance with God’s will (Isa 53:10a). He took upon Himself all the sins of His people
(Matt 1:21) as their substitute (2 Cor. 5:21). After His death, the Lord Jesus Christ was buried and three days later He rose from the dead (1 Cor 15:4) signifying the declaration of the Father that the penalty was paid and provided a pattern for the believer’s future bodily resurrection.
Do you agree that the words, “came into the world” are indeed amazing? They are amazing because the King came into the world to save sinners.