“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:” (Philippians 2:5-7).
The entire Gospel message runs contrary to human thinking. The Creator being sacrificed for His creatures. The Judge of all the earth paying the penalty of the guilty. The immortal One dying. The sinless God substituting for human sinners. No man or devil could ever have concocted such a plan, and indeed, no such one did. God’s plan for man’s salvation was created in the wisdom of God before the world began, according to the Bible (see, for example, I Corinthians 2:7-8; Ephesians 1:4; II Timothy 1:9; Titus 1:2; I Peter 1:20; Revelation 13:8).
Make no mistake about it! The infant in the manger is none other than the Creator, holy and eternal (see John 1:1-3, 14; Colossians 1:15-20). In order to qualify as a sacrificial substitute for man, He had to be born as a child into humankind, but without the inherited sin nature of His human parents. A virgin birth was therefore necessary, which was prophesied in Isaiah 7:14 and fulfilled according to Matthew 1:22-23 and Luke 1:30-37.
Jesus had to live a sinless life. He had to be fully human, but also fully God, so that His substitutionary death could apply to the sins of more than one guilty sinner.
II Corinthians 5:21 tells us that on the cross God treated Jesus as if He had lived our life, so that in Christ, God could treat us as if we had lived His! He had to be “Emmanuel…God with us” (Matthew 1:23).
The Word of God says, “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory” (I Timothy 3:16). As the famous carol by Charles Wesley puts it:
Christ, by highest Heav’n adored, Christ, the everlasting Lord:
Late in time behold Him come, Offspring of a virgin’s womb.
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see, Hail th’ incarnate Deity!
Pleased as man with men to dwell, Jesus our Emmanuel.
Hark! the herald angels sing, “Glory to the newborn King!”