Why an Incarnation
Ironically, God chose to come in the flesh for the very reason some try to reject the possibility that He could. God wanted to draw as near to us as possible to show us how much He loves us. If we dismiss the idea of a personal God, this passionate overture means little. But if we embrace it, we can’t help but love God back.
Not long ago a husband in our congregation called to let us know his wife had been in a car accident and to ask if someone could go check on her. She had just dropped him off at an airport and he was already in the terminal ready to board when he received her call. A few moments later I arrived at the crash scene with another staff member and we called her husband to give him an update. By that time he had already left the terminal and asked if we could pick him up and bring him to see his wife, which we did.
Why did this husband risk messing up his travel plans even though his wife assured him she was alright and we confirmed she was not injured? We even sent him pictures of the car so he knew the extent of the damage. Why? It was because sometimes there is no substitute for being there. It is hard to convey love and concern in a text message, but being there in person speaks volumes.
Why didn’t God create a son and put him on the cross? He could have, but this wouldn’t have accomplished the same thing. First, a mere human, even if he was created for a purpose, would not have the authority to suffer the punishment we deserved. A special creation would be no different from God choosing any one of us to die for the world. No, the only way to bring about our salvation was for the One who was perfect to settle the account no one else could afford.
But would it not have been possible for God to drop in for a quick visit to Calvary, die there to satisfy the Law, and return to heaven? The soldiers wouldn’t have had to show up. It could all have been handled quickly and discretely.
Yet, if God had handled things this way, how would we know how much He loved us? How could we know He understands what it is like to live here? And what hope would we have had the disciples not witnessed His agony, death, burial and resurrection? As the writer of Hebrews reminds us, “Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted” (Hebrews 2:18).
Please realize. The incarnation was important in communicating love, but it was also necessary in striking down the charge of sin against us. To this important point we turn our attention.