Lesson for the Lord’s Day

For in Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. Colossians 2:9

Among the fanciful creatures of C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia stories are the centaurs. These creatures were highly intelligent, excellent archers, and were faithful to the great lion Aslan. Centaurs were highly unusual creatures, with the body and legs of horses and torso, arms, and legs of men. This was a combination that gave them the best physical features of both while not being entirely one or the other. Our text today tells of a Person who combined two even more divergent characters, that of God and man. Unlike the centaurs, Jesus Christ is real, not imaginary. Also unlike the centaurs, he is 100 percent God, and became 100 percent man while remaining God.

There is an interesting line in D’Arcy Champney’s lovely Hymn Jesus Our Lord With What Joy We Adore Thee that captures the truth of the incarnation: Verily God, yet become truly human. Our text also encapsulates this glorious truth, that everything that is God lives in the body that the Lord Jesus took upon Himself when He stepped into humanity – became flesh and dwelt among us. His perfect human body was perfectly human. This is a difficult concept to discuss, because I can’t understand it. Neither can you. I am not sure the angels can, either. And yet, this great mystery holds for you and me today the greatest truth that has ever gripped our souls, the fact that the Lord Jesus bore our sins in His own body on the tree (1 Peter 2:24).

Reviewing what the Gospels reveal to us of the life of the Lord Jesus, we consider how all that is God was in the babe who the shepherds adored in Bethlehem’s manger and who Simeon and Anna worshipped in the temple. All that is God indwelt the itinerate Preacher who trod the Judean trails and preached the Gospel to the poor. All that is God inhabited the One Who was battered and bloody at Gabbatha and Who was covered in shame and reproach at Golgotha. In His life and in His death, the meek and lowly Jesus was always what He always is and will be. So too in His resurrection, the Lord Jesus was a man who emerged from the tomb in victory over man’s greatest enemy. And it is the Man Christ Jesus, Who has promised to come again for us. The One we will meet in the air and be forever with is God, and He is man.

How long must eternity be, to allow us to be able to plumb the depths of the great mystery of the incarnation, that all the fulness of the Godhead dwelt in the Lord Jesus bodily. – Jim MacIntosh

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