Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Word Became Flesh

When you take fallen, sinful human nature and unite it in a single person with divine nature, what happens? Here's what you may suppose happened, as expressed on a minister's blog a few days ago.

It is the fact that God has sullied Himself with the filth of the human race and bound Himself to us for all eternity: "The Word became flesh."

But as we sing every Sunday, Christ "without change became man and was crucified..." That's an echo of the Council of Chalcedon, which decreed that divine and human nature were united in Christ without change, without confusion, without separation, and without compartmentalization.

That's to say, the Divine Nature was in no way compromised. There's just no way poor human nature has any ability to sully the infinitely good and holy God even in the least degree. Our darkness can never even partially overcome His Light, or our weakness overpower His might.

No, the reverse happened: human nature was purified, sanctified, and made fit to dwell in one Person with the Divine. This, by the way, is the pattern we see over and over again in the Lord's encounters with sinners. He isn't possessed by their demons but casts them out. He doesn't become sick, but makes the sick well. He doesn't contract sin, but sinners become holy.

Christ, at His conception, re-created human nature within Himself. That's the meaning of the Incarnation.