It is not always easy for us to meditate on the person of Christ. How can He be both God and man? To reflect on the way in which He fully took on human nature without giving up His deity at all or even mixing the two sometimes seems like a mystery that is too big for us to appreciate.
And of course, there is a sense in which it is.
This is a miracle that is above every other miracle. It is not something human wisdom would have come up with or that a man can reason out. As Owen writes, “His conception in the womb of the Virgin, as unto the integrity of human nature was a miraculous operation of the divine power. But the prevention of that nature from any subsistence of its own, by its personal assumption into personal union with the Son of God, in the first instance of its conception, is that which is above all miracles…The depths of the mystery in this are open only to him whose understand is infinite…” To think that one and the same individual person can have two natures so distinct as God and man, that “the Eternal was made in time, the Infinite becomes finite, the Immortal, mortal, yet continuing eternal, infinite, and immortal…” is a concept that is far above our abilities to fully comprehend.
But still, even though we will never quite get to the bottom of it and though it sometimes makes our minds hurt to contemplate, it’s important that through faith we take the time to meditate and enjoy who Christ is, that He is fully God and fully man.
In his book Christologia, John Owen gives us a number of reasons why:
1. This is the most glorious display of God’s divine wisdom, grace and power that ever happened, anywhere.
That God “was made flesh, not by any change of his own nature or essence, not by a transubstantiation of the divine nature into the human, not by ceasing to be what he was, but by becoming what he was not, in taking our nature to be his own, where he dwelt among us…” is the “singular display of divine wisdom, goodness, and power” that will cause us to admire and worship God forever.
2. Looking at the person of Christ motivates us to worship God.
We should worship God because He’s God, but it’s the way God has visibly revealed Himself that actually motivates us to worship. That’s part of what should happen as we look at His creation. It causes us to look to God. But the way in which God has revealed Himself in the person of Christ far surpasses the way He has revealed Himself in creation and is our greatest motivation for glorifying Him.
3. This is the glory of the Christian religion. Take this away and you remove everything that is great about Christianity.
“This is its life and soul, that where it is different from and inconceivably excels whatever was in true religion before, or whatever any false religion pretended to.”
4. Believing this changes us and makes us more like Jesus.
“The faith of this mystery ennobles the mind where it is, rendering it spiritual and heavenly, transforming it into the image of God…Those whose view is steadfast, who most abound in that contemplation by the exercise of faith, are changed into the image of Christ, they go from glory to glory.”
5. Believing this gives us courage and peace.
“When any person comes practically to know how great a thing it is for an apostate sinner to obtain the remission of sins and an inheritance among them that are sanctified, endless objections through the power of unbelief will arise….That which is principally suited to give him rest, peace and sanctification and without which nothing else can do so is the due consideration of and the acting of faith upon the infinite effect of divine wisdom and goodness, in the constitution of the person of Christ. This at first view will reduce the mind unto that conclusion, “If thou canst believe, all things are possible!” Is any thing too hard for God? Did God ever do any thing like this or make use of any such means for any other end whatever?”