Thursday, 15 December 2011

His Infinite Condescension

As the bustle of Christmas rings ever more loudly, can I suggest that we make sure that we battle to keep some important truths before our minds.

We ought never to cease to marvel at the infinite grace and humility and grace of the Lord Jesus in becoming man for our salvation. Though He was rich, He became poor for our sake so that we might become rich (2 Corinthians 8:9). He did not count equality with God something to be grasped, but made Himself nothing (Philippians 2:6-7). He humbled Himself, being born as a man, and willingly going to the most shameful and undeserved death on the cross, as He took upon Himself the anger of God that we deserved for our sin. God became man for our salvation. We ought never to stop marvelling in this.

Jonathan Edwards had this to say about the birth of Christ:

His infinite condescension marvelously appeared in the manner of his birth. He was brought forth in a stable because there was no room for them in the inn. The inn was taken up by others, that were looked upon as persons of greater account.

The Blessed Virgin, being poor and despised, was turned or shut out. Though she was in such necessitous circumstances, yet those that counted themselves her betters would not give place to her; and therefore, in the time of her travail, she was forced to betake herself to a stable; and when the child was born, it was wrapped in swaddling clothes, and laid in a manger. There Christ lay a little infant, and there he eminently appeared as a lamb.

But yet this feeble infant, born thus in a stable, and laid in a manger, was born to conquer and triumph over Satan, that roaring lion. He came to subdue the mighty powers of darkness, and make a show of them openly, and so to restore peace on earth, and to manifest God's good-will towards men, and to bring glory to God in the highest, according as the end of his birth was declared by the joyful songs of the glorious hosts of angels appearing to the shepherds at the same time that the infant lay in the manger; whereby his divine dignity was manifested.