Incarnate. Not a word you hear used very often in common conversation. However, it’s a word that’s tremendously comforting.
Incarnate literally means “in the flesh.” At Christmas, we celebrate that Jesus took on our human flesh. He was born with a body like yours and mine. He breathed, hungered, ate, thirsted, drank, grew weary, slept, shivered, suffered and died…in the flesh…for us. His love for us was not some far off mystical abstraction. It was real, visible, tangible, and historical. The incarnate Jesus was able to die for our real sin and rise in the flesh as the seal of our victory over death. Because of such incarnate love, we’ll live out eternity in the flesh with our Lord and Savior, Jesus. At Christmas we are right to pause and ponder the awesome incarnate love of Jesus.
This Christmas I’m blessed to have a visible picture of incarnate love right in my own home. Hannah’s been away at college for the past four months. To have her home again, in the flesh, is a tremendous gift. It’s nice to see her smile, share a meal and hold her close again. Hannah’s quick to point out that it’s just not the same when all we can do is talk on the phone or visually chat. Nothing can take the place of incarnate love.
The same is true when it comes to our faith in Jesus. Nothing can take the place of His incarnate love. Other religions may talk a lot about love, but no other offers a God who died and rose in the flesh to make the full payment for our sin.
This Christmas, I’m more keenly aware of and thankful for the incarnate love of Jesus. He IS God and love in the flesh for you and me. Hallelujah!