We can identify this human being—Jesus Christ, the most beautiful human being ever to exist—as the central object of our worship and offer all of our praise to him without the fear of dishonoring God precisely because he is no mere human: he himself is God. He has become man in order to accommodate our limitations in worship. We couldn’t reach up on the top shelf to get God, so God places himself on the bottom shelf—right within our reach—in the person of Jesus Christ, the carpenter from Nazareth.
No, it’s not Christmas time, but I think we should go ahead and consider the incarnation of Christ anyway. Specifically, I want to point out what the incarnation means for revelation. This mighty, infinite Creator God actually put on flesh and stepped into the time and space he created. He wrote himself into the story he authored. He makes himself known, not only with words and propositions, but with skin and fingernails, and I think that merits our attention in the heat of summer just as much as during mid-December. Consider how the incarnation is revelation in these four ways:
Jesus Reveals Who God Is
Before the incarnation, God revealed himself as the Creator God. This much is established all throughout the Old Testament, long before Mary ever received that visit from the Angel. God is Creator. But in the incarnation, God deepens the story and expands our knowledge of his creatorship. In the incarnation, we learn that this Creator God is Triune. In this passage, we learn that the Lord of all Creation is none other than Christ Jesus, the eternal Son of the Father, who is one with the Father and Spirit eternally. He is the exact imprint of the Father’s nature—meaning, when you see him, you see the Father’s nature: you see what the Father is. When you see Jesus, you see God.
We read in Genesis how God spoke the universe into being out of nothing, but then we learn from the incarnation that this creative agency is, in fact, a divine person. That was the Son bringing all of that everything out of nothing! How do we know this? How do we know that the Creator God is a Triune God, who exists in the three persons of Father, Son and Holy Spirit? How do we know that the creative power of the Father is a personal Word? We find all this out when that personal Word puts flesh on and walks among us. “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).
Jesus Reveals What God Does
In the incarnation, Jesus reveals to us who God is by revealing to us what God does in the work of redemption. This is what the incarnation is: the Trinity setting into motion a divine rescue mission. A Triune conspiracy of deliverance. At no point in this mission do the persons of Trinity separate or act independently of one another.
The Father sends the Son by the power of the Spirit to redeem his flock—to purchase a people for himself. He does this by living a perfect life on their behalf, dying as a sacrifice for the penalty of their sin, rising from the dead as a guarantee that his perfect life and sacrificial death are acceptable to the Father, ascending back to the right hand of the Father to intercede for his flock with his blood and to send the Holy Spirit to supernaturally apply all this work of redemption to his flock. All this is why the Son became incarnate. This is why the Word became flesh: to complete the Trinity’s mission of redemption. “After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Hebrews 1:3). Why did he sit down? Because he was done. He had done with a single offering—the offering of himself—what the endless sacrifices of the Old Testament priests could never do: he made actual purification for sins.