25th December 2020
“Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men.” Philippians 2:6, 7
The humanity of our blessed Lord was actual flesh and blood from the moment of its conception, a perfect human body, to which was united a perfect human soul; both without sin, or else he could not be the Lamb without blemish; both without sin, or his pure humanity would not have been that “holy thing” born of the Virgin, which should be called the Son of God. Thus he came forth as the Lamb of God, without spot or blemish. Well indeed might the Apostle say, “Great is the mystery of godliness.” Here as in a glass we see the wonderful love of Jesus, that he who is the Sort of God, coequal and co-eternal with the Father and the Holy Ghost, a sharer of the Father’s essence, of the Father’s glory, should stoop so low to lift us up so high; that he should condescend to unite to his glorious Person our nature, flesh and blood; to wear a human body like our own; to feel as we do, to speak as we do, to walk as we do, to eat and drink and hunger and thirst and weep and sigh and mourn as we do; yet all the while be the Son of God, and should have a divine nature in as close union with human nature as our soul has with our bodily frame. We cannot tell how our soul is in union with our body. We know it is so, but how we cannot tell. We only know the fact, but we cannot explain the mode. So we cannot tell how Christ’s divine nature is in union with his human nature; we know it is so by the testimony of God, by the express revelation of his word. That revelation to a believer answers all inquiry. But if any man say to me, “Can you explain the mystery of the two natures in Christ?” I ask in my turn, “Can you explain the mystery of your own existence? Can you explain to me how you are able to lift up your own hand, see with your own eye, hear with your own ear, move with your own foot? No man has ever yet been able to explain this apparently simple thing; a feat which every child can perform, but a fact which no philosopher can understand. Can you tell me how mind can act upon matter? how you wish to do a thing with your mind, and can do it instantaneously with your body? When, then, you can explain your own existence and unravel the mystery of your soul acting in union with your body, then I will allow that you may unravel the mystery of the union of Deity and humanity in the Person of the Son of God, as he lived upon earth, and as he now lives in heaven.” Beautiful upon this mystery are the words of Hart:
“How it was done we can’t discuss;
But this we know, ’twas done for us.”
Happy those who can use these words without a wavering tongue!
J. C. Philpot 1802-1869