"The Word became flesh."
Four words. Simple. Profound.
Take a moment. Think about it.
What Word is this? What Word became flesh? Is it the Word "Christmas?" "Present?" Is it: "Eggnog" or "Wiener Schnitzel?"
Or perhaps, (clear your throat for sounding super smart) "pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis."
It's not that simple.
John 1:1 contains a clue: In the beginning was the Word...
When we see the word, "Word" there we are talking about more than just language. It can't be quantified by English, Spanish, Yiddish or French. Those words weren't. They languages didn't even exist. But THE WORD, it always was:
In the beginning was the Word....
Note that it was not the literal word "God," floating around universe. Again English wasn't invented. Nor was Hebrew, so their word for God -- Elohim is right out too.
Besides that, words don't float. They need to be spoken. Written. Typed. Tapped. Signed. Or even texted!
The Word wasn't simply 'a word.' It was The Word.
John 1:1 explains, "The Word was God." His essence. His being. Who he is. ...and the Word was with God. It was with God in the beginning.
You hear two main points in that explanation. The Word was God. The Word was also with God. He is God and he is beside God at the same time.
This is a mystery explainable only in the Triune God himself. A mystery beyond our comprehension. Indescribable and epic, this can only be understood by the divine. The Word is God, yet the Word is beside God. John continues to tells us that he is the "light of the world" and that John the Baptist preached about him.
It becomes clear. The Word is the second person of the Trinity. Jesus.
Did you realize we were reading the Christmas story?
The Word became flesh.
Immediately, a few contradictions need to be made. Note the following:
The Word -- which is God himself-- did not become a theory to be debated.
God is not just some theoretic idea that is debatable amongst the greatest minds of our times. God isn't spending some time at a Duke lecture listening to a Professor of Archaeology match his thoughts on God against a Professor of the liberal arts who nods appropriately with the Evolutionary Science director who gives a high five to the Jewish rabbi that presented along the Islamic Imam.
God is not a theory to be debated. He exists. He is real. He is one. He is not a collection of the best of religions. He is not sitting up in heaven thinking: "I really like the way the Buddhist thinks of me. Now if only he would add that idea from the Catholic with that idea from the Humanist, then, I'd be really cool."
God is not created by our theories. God exists apart from us. Without us. God is real. God is not a debatable entity.
Also note: The Word did not become a poem to be mused upon.
Too often this is how we view God. A pick me up. A good luck charm. A Facebook post with a cool waterfall background and an inspirational verse in Lucida Font up in front.
God is not some kind of fairy tale. He isn't there for good advice and a witty quip on a calendar. He isn't the product of human imagination. He isn't just a word we use for good will and cheer. He isn't the opiate for the Masses. Something invented by human beings to make us feel better about this sad, lonely, gloomy life.
God is real. The Word is absolute. Allow Him to prove it by looking at what the Word -- God himself-- did become:
The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and only who came from the Father full of grace and truth.
God himself. The embodiment of the spoken Word. Love. Life. Being. God became flesh.
Understand what that means. God chose to take on a frail human body. Brittle bones. Breakable skin. A respiratory system that could develop allergies. Lungs that slowly breathe until they can no longer inflate. A heart that beats until it runs out of energy. Blood that runs -- tries to clot -- fails.
This incredible truth is clearly seen throughout Jesus' life. He sleeps. He eats. He cries. He walks. He talks. I imagine he even had to clear his throat once or twice. All human things.
Yet, he healed the blind. He made the lame walk. He cured diseases without medicine. He walked on water. Stopped storms. Brought back to life.
And he did it all with....words.
That's God stuff.
The Word, God himself, became flesh--a human being.
Well, what words might you use to describe humans?
"Hateful. Vengeful. Lonely. Depressed. Guilty. Frail. Aging."
God is entirely different from that:
"Loving. Uplifting. Innocent. Unassailable. Ageless."
Why would God give up all his grandeur and glory in order to take on human flesh?
The answer is simple. He needed to.
God needed to be God because God alone is perfect. Therefore, God alone could and would live perfectly. A prerequisite for life on this earth and a necessity for everlasting life in heaven.
But God already had that. Therefore, this perfect life, wasn't for him.
It was for you.
But in order to accomplish this, God also needed to die. He needed to take on what you deserved. He needed to take on your finality. He needed to take what you, a human, deserve and make it his own.
But how could God eternal, immortal, apart from time, life itself, die?
The Word became flesh.
In order to take our place and save us from the wrath of God our sins deserved, He needed to be God to live a perfect life without sin, yet he needed to be human to die. God wanted to be that sacrifice. God wanted to be that substitute. It was (and is) the only way! So he became flesh and began inching ever closer to that final breath on the cross thirty three years later.
The Word became flesh to die. The Word became flesh to save us.
But He is no longer in death. The Word brought truth to his promise of eternal life for all who believe in him. It's a promise that glows with certainly in the aftermath of the Word's death. A promise that fills us with hope as we see the Word's real human flesh return to life again at the Word of the Word's divine nature.
And now? The Word has some new words to describe you:
Maybe, you'll change the words you'll use to describe Him.