“Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.”
(Matthew 1:23, NKJV)
Childbirth is something no man can completely appreciate. We can marvel as an observer, but we cannot experience it as a woman would. My wife tells me, “I cannot completely describe the feeling that came over me as the doctor held up Curt, our firstborn, cut the cord, and then laid him right across my tummy. I thought, How incredible! This little life came from us!”
This time of year adds a completely new dimension to the miracle of childbirth. Long ago in a quiet, crude place where animals sleep, Mary reached down and felt the soft, human skin of infinite God.
The humanity of this scene pulls us in for a closer look. We can identify with Joseph’s amazement, Mary’s wonder, and the irony of God’s quiet arrival in such an inhospitable world…all of those thoughts are magnificent to ponder. But we cannot stop there. These are only an entrance to wonders far more significant. Just beneath the soft, newborn skin of this beautiful story is the flesh and bone of a theological truth.
The Incarnation—God becoming flesh—is a doctrine that is foundational to everything we believe as Christians. Two millennia ago, God Almighty became Immanuel, “God with us.” He lived as we live, suffered as we suffer, died as we die, yet without sin. And He, being the God-Man, overcame the power of death in order to give us eternal life.
As you ponder the humanity of the first Christmas, remember that it is an invitation to slow down and think deeper. I invite you to touch the infant skin of the God-Man with your imagination. I invite you to wonder as the shepherds wondered and to worship as the wise men did. I invite you to allow the God-Man, Jesus, to take your problem of sin and make it His. If you can accept my invitation, you will receive the greatest Christmas present on earth: God’s indescribable gift.
Taken from Charles R. Swindoll, “An Invitation to Touch the Skin of Infinite God,” Insights (December 2005): 1-2. Copyright © 2005, Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide.