“You will make known to me the path of life; in your presence is fullness of joy.” Ps 16:11

Christ: Born to Die

“Behold, a virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His Name Immanuel, which translated means, God with us” (Matthew 1:23). And so, “the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us (John 1:14). The Second Person of the blessed Trinity entered this fallen, corrupt, and sinful world. He “emptied Himself

[of divine prerogatives], taking the form of a bond-servant, being made in the likeness of men” (Philippians 2:7). Yes, “when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law” (Galatians 4:4). Why? “So that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons” (Galatians 4:5).

But why become a man? “Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?” (Luke 22:44). God became man to suffer. Christ took to Himself a true body and reasonable soul. As He did so, He was and is both God and man in two distinct natures in one person. And He did so to suffer all the torments of hell in body and soul for sinners like you and me. “Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people through His own blood, suffered outside the gate” (Hebrews 13:12).

There was anguish of soul. As “the man, Christ Jesus,” knelt in the Garden of Gethsemane, looking, as it were, into the furnace of God’s wrath He was about to experience, “His sweat became like drops of blood, falling down upon the ground” (1 Timothy 2:5, Luke 22:44). His human frame, wilting at the prospect, constrains the prayer, “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me” (Luke 22:42). And although, “In the days of His flesh, He offered up both prayers and supplications with loud crying and tears to the One able to save Him from death…He learned obedience from the things which He suffered (Hebrews 5:7-8). Christ knew, “It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:31). Yet He also prayed, “Yet not My will, but Yours be done” (Luke 22:42).

Then on the cross, darkness came and the full furry of the curse bearing heaven’s wrath. The loving Father turned His face from His only Son. There was anguish of body. “He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities” (Isaiah 53:5). “He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross” (1 Peter 2:24). “Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day” (Luke 24:46).

There was further anguish of soul. “Having become a curse for us,” He cried out to His Father in agony with a loud voice, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me” (Galatians 3:13, Matthew 27:46). He bore the burden of sin so people like you and me, who trust in Him, would never have to bear this burden. He made this God forsaken cry so that people like you and me, who trust in Him, would never ever have to make a similar cry.

Christ was born to die. Mary “gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn” (Luke 2:7). And, “Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:8). Christ came to die for the likes of you and me. Celebrate His coming.

2016-10-29T15:11:20-05:00 December 9th, 2013|