The With-Us God | Rescue: The Incarnation of Reconciliation
While God possesses many means of communication, there is one language spoken that all tribes and tongues understand. The Infinite Being waives all privileges to become a finite human being. In Jesus, the unfathomable is translated into the knowable.
When we consider expressions of authority, we might be forgiven for drawing links to aloofness, lack of relatability, power abuse, or disinterest in the subjects governed. There have been many such figures in history. Yet, when God chooses to disclose his person most fully to his ‘subjects’, he does not do so in a way that prioritises his attributes of authority and superiority. In fact, we have the very opposite. God does not baffle us with his blinding reality, he chooses to meet us in a way that is relatable. He lays aside his glory for the meek form of flesh – a vulnerable child born to humble circumstances. Instead of occupying the position of the ruling elite, he was the ruled; instead of coloniser, the colonised; instead of influential and resourced, sub-privileged. God takes on flesh to share in humanity’s mess, thus overruling its alienating and dehumanising effects.
And what does God take this opportunity to say? He speaks a word of peace to humanity, drawing us into the embrace of reconciliation. Rather than paying us out for what rebellious actions deserve, he bridges the divide and crosses no-man’s land.
Did he receive the Victoria Cross for otherworldly “valour in the presence of the enemy”? No, he was hung naked on a cross as an agitator. He knew this was to be his end and still he came. Really, what was achieved by his arrival was the greatest victory – the rescue all rescue stories attempt to get at.
In his attempts to describe the importance of Christ’s incarnation, C. S. Lewis imagines the relationship of an author to her characters. How shall the characters in a novel ever get to know the author, when they live in two separate dimensions? The only way is if the author writes herself into the novel. In Christ, we have the Great Author who introduces himself to us in the flesh. What a story. What a rescue. What a reconciliation.
Questions to reflect on this week:
- What does God’s revealing himself in this way say about who he is?
- Do you find anything relatable in Jesus’ life and/or message?
- How does being reconciled to God shape us as reconcilers in the world?
Written by Mike Day | 2020