Why March 25 Is the Most Important Day in History
We tend to assume that big problems require equally big solutions. You don’t send a child to do a man’s job. That would be foolish.
If anybody should realize this, God should. I mean, it’s not like he needs a remedial course in being a divinity. He’s had all eternity to figure this stuff out. Nothing is his first rodeo.
Yet if the Almighty is consistent in anything, he’s consistent in being Unmighty in his most important missions. In what seems foolhardy to us, he sends tiny solutions to solve big problems.
Few days illustrate this better than today. What is today? Count forward nine months and you’ll find yourself in a Bethlehem stable. So today, March 25, is the Annunciation, the Conception Day of the Christ. Today’s the day you find yourself shaking your head at the crazy, bassackwards ways of God, who leapt from his throne above and landed as a two-celled embryo inside the fallopian tube of an unwed teenage virgin. God becomes no bigger than a dot to save a cosmos. He doesn’t just send a child to do a man’s job; he sends an embryo to do a God’s job.
We certainly can’t say that he didn’t know what he was getting into. After all he engineered the female reproductive system. And we certainly cannot say that he was not really an embryo, but only appeared to be one. Nor can we claim that he was a superhuman kind of baby, for he was just as human, if not more, than we are. No, when the Word became flesh, the potter the pot, the artist the canvas, he knew exactly what he was doing. He was becoming one of us, for us, for good. Jesus did not come down to earth to walk a mile in our shoes. He chose to live for the rest of eternity in our skin. He wasn’t interning; he was incarnating.
Didn’t he know how precarious a pregnancy can be? Yes, he knew. Didn’t God know he’d soon be sucking his thumb and pooping his diaper? Yes, of course. And didn’t he know, quite frankly, that sometimes being a human being means you get treated like a dog, kicked around, hated, lied about, stabbed in the back, slapped in the face, unjustly accused, falsely tried, publicly flogged, and unmercifully executed? Oh, yes, he knew that, too. But for the joy set before him, he entered the womb, suffered through puberty, fought the good fight, endured the cross, exploded the tomb. For what joy? For the joy of calling you brother and sister, flesh of his flesh and bone of his bone. For the joy of your salvation.
It all began inside a virgin, when her womb became the new Holy of Holies, where an embryo named both Jesus and Yahweh rested beneath the wings of those two virgin breasts. There God became man while yet remaining God, in order that we might become sons of heaven while yet remaining sons of earth.
And, in some ways, it ended there, too, for what remained to be accomplished? Yes, he would go on to be born, live, die, and rise again, but already in that womb, when he joined himself inextricably to our nature, we were assured victory. If there was ever any doubt about God’s commitment to humanity, the incarnation removed that doubt. God became a man forever. And thus he is our brother, our kinsman redeemer, the God who would move heaven and earth to save us.
In that unmighty dot of a human embryo dwelt all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. And that’s all we needed.
I suppose God knew what he was doing after all.
A Prayer for the Annunciation of our Lord: We implore you, O Lord, to pour forth your grace on us that, as we have known the Incarnation of your Son Jesus Christ by the message of the angel, so by his cross and Passion we may be brought to the glory of his resurrection; through our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen. (Lutheran Worship, 107).
What we need in our fragmented world, full of hurting people, is the love of Jesus Christ, who welcomes home sinners with a grace that knows no bounds. My book Christ Alone: Meditations and Sermons, is packed with reflections that go that extra mile of grace. Again and again, they present the Christ who is crucified and risen for you. Please take a moment to check it out here. You may also be interested in my collections of hymns and poetry entitled, The Infant Priest, which you can purchase here. Both books are also available on Amazon, as is my booklet Why Lutherans Sing What They Sing (also on Kindle). Thank you for your prayers and support!