Last week we established Jesus came legally into the earth, by human birth, but how was this accomplished?
We will look at 3 amazing passages that describe in detail what it was like for the Son to be given by the Father to human conception.
The first is Philippians 2: 5-11, with verses 6-7 that interest us today:
"...Christ Jesus: who, existing in the form of God, counted not the being on an equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men; and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, becoming obedient even unto death..."
I could take this passage apart in the Greek all day long, but 'emptied himself' is accurate. Christ in heaven, in order to become Jesus conceived in Mary's womb, emptied Himself of all rights, privileges, and claims to being Christ. He had to come to earth as one of us and live as one of us. He was going to die as a man for man's sin, so He had to be 100% man.
Notice also the terminology: "..taking the form of a servant (man), being made in the likeness of man", and then from His perspective: "Being found fashioned as a man" or another translation is "Finding Himself fashioned as a man."
I find that amazing, humbling, awe inspiring to the highest degree. What it must have been like to go from all-powerful to being a 'normal' human being!
And remember this change was forever. Once He left heaven as Christ the Son given to us, to take upon Himself human flesh, there was no going back. No longer in the Spirit unlimited realm, now He found Himself confined to one place at one time as a man.
The One who designed the human body now had to live in it. The One who previously could be anywhere He wanted at the speed of His thoughts, had to learn to use the legs He found Himself in to walk there. The one who designed the bladder and bowels had to be potty trained. Think of the changes He went through. For the first time He personally learned what sleep was. What being hot or cold was. The one who designed wood had to learn carpentry and use that wood to make things.
And He is still that man today. Still in a human body.
The 2nd passage
In Hebrews 10: 4-7 we find Jesus actually saying this as He left heaven to be conceived in Mary:
(Father) You don’t want sacrifices and offerings year after year;
you’ve prepared a body for me for a sacrifice.
It’s not fragrance and smoke from the altar
that whet your appetite.
So I said, “I’m here to do it your way, O God,
the way it’s described in your Book.”
Jesus was looking at His human body with singular focus: As a means by which to offer the final sacrifice.
Our question is this: How did the Father 'prepare' the body for Him? Enter Mary in Luke 1: 26-35, and v34-35 in particular:
The 3rd passage: Mary and Gabriel
"Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?
And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Spirit shall come upon you, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow you: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of you shall be called the Son of God."
Those 3 elements: Holy Spirit will come upon her. The power of the highest. Will overshadow her. That is how the conception happened. That is how Christ took upon Himself a body that had been prepared, using Mary's egg, so that He was legally a man.
The key is the middle phrase, 'the power of the Highest' will overshadow you. In Hebrews 1: 1-3 which is my favorite all time passage I think, it says that God spoke to the fathers in times past by many ways, but in these last days has spoken to us by His Son whom He appointed heir of all things, by whom He also made the worlds. Then it continues of the Son:
"Who is the brightness of His (Father's) glory, the (impressed image, like clay on a coin having the image impressed onto it) of His (Father's) person (character, nature), and upholds all things by the Word of His (Father's) power...."
Not the power of the Word, but the Word of His power
"The power of the highest will come upon you" Gabriel said. Notice Christ Jesus upholds all things by the Word of the Father's power. It is not 'the power of the Word', but rather the Word of the Father's power. Big difference. Big difference.
Jesus upholds things as the Word of the Father's power - the Father has the power, Jesus is the expression of that power. When a mom tells a child to clean their room, the power resides in the parent. The child is fulfilling the word of the parent's power. They are the boss. They have the power. Jesus upholds all things by the Word of the Father's power.
So when we see Gabriel telling teenage Mary the Holy Spirit will come upon her, and the power of the highest - the power of God the Father - will overshadow her, THAT is the moment of conception. THAT is the Father's power expressed in His Son, coming to her egg to fertilize it. The Word of the Father's power came into her womb to join her egg, and Jesus was conceived. He was now 100% man. 100% God. Growing in her womb.
The word 'overshadow' is used to speak of a cloud, so the imagery is clear, she was enveloped in the Holy Spirit as Christ came into her womb, the Person of the Power of the Highest becoming human flesh. And later, finding Himself 'fashioned as a man', He chose to humble Himself further, even to death, and that of the cross. As a criminal.
Amazing grace. New subject next week, until then, blessings,
www.cwowi.org and email me at firstname.lastname@example.org