[The following devotional is a part of our 2014 Advent Devotional Guide. We will be posting a devotional each day on this blog between November 30 – December 31, 2014.]
Christmas Recipe by Mark Robinson
Read: Luke 1:26-38
Today cooking shows are all the rage. An entire television station (the Food Network) shows programming all day to help us know how to make the perfect broccoli casserole. Cooking food is not nearly as interesting to me as eating it . . . but there are times it is important to understand what actually goes into making certain dishes. Let’s just say (for instance) that someone has a peanut allergy. It would be imperative for that person to know if ANY peanuts were used in making the Pad Thai.
In Luke 1:26-38, God shows us what all went into making Jesus born on the earth. This is important because God is a holy God and the idea of a divine incarnation raises some serious questions.
- Was Jesus really God?
- Was Jesus really man?
In order to prepare the incarnation, Luke 1 tells us that several ingredients were necessary in certain order:
- Mary. Mary was an essential ingredient in this story. Some have tried to mythologize Mary into some sort of super hero, but that is not the biblical picture of Mary. The biblical picture of Mary highlights how normal she really was. She was so normal, she had sinned and disobeyed God in her life, and was in need of a Savior, just like the rest of the world. By being born of a woman (Mary), Jesus was clothing Himself in a fully human body.
- The Holy Spirit. The second necessary ingredient to the incarnation was the Spirit of God. The miraculous conception of Jesus happened because the Spirit of God was present and “overshadowed” Mary causing her to conceive. By this Jesus would not merely be human, but be the Son of God. This divine inspiration allowed Jesus to be human, but miss a sinful disposition. It allowed Jesus to both Man AND God.
- Mix in a dash of Joseph. Joseph was Jesus’ connection to the royal lineage of King David. This allowed legitimacy to Jesus’ kingly reign, and foreshadowed His fulfillment as the King of Israel who would sit on David’s throne forever (2 Samuel 7).
When you serve up all three of these ingredients, you have a God/Man who can save humanity from our sins and reconcile us to our Heavenly Father. Serving up the King of Kings is a delicate process theologically. That is why God broadcasts the details so we can enjoy its rich flavor.
All this points to the fact that Jesus is uniquely qualified from His birth to His death. These extraordinary events identify God’s presence and invite us to “taste and see that the Lord is good.”
- Who do you know who is 13 years old? Mary was about 14 when the angel came and announced to her that Jesus would be her son. How do you think you would have responded if this news came to you?
- Thank God that His Word is true!