Making the Messiah
Once, He had taken a portion of ground in His almighty hands. He fashioned the dust of the earth into flesh and bone. He breathed life into His creation. And now, the same God whose hands formed the first man was at work again.
He had in mind what He wanted to make. Not just another man, but a new kind of Man. Temporal flesh and bone prepared for eternal Spirit to inhabit. A body in which to dwell among us–a “tabernacle.”
It would be a body prepared for a purpose. It would suffer. The skin would be flayed and pierced. Blood and water would one day flow from within it, all in the act of accomplishing of its purpose. Insults would fall upon this head. But its brow would not be turned. It would remain steadfast and resolute, like flint.
What sort of form would the Maker use to display His glory in this body? How would He draw all people toward this new Man? In our minds, He should make this Redeemer’s body as glorious as He is majestic. It should be a paragon of human beauty and magnificence. But the Maker, in His counter-human wisdom, chose otherwise. He made Him such that this new Man had no beauty or majesty to attract us to Him. In fact, there was nothing in His appearance that we would desire Him at all. Not comely nor attractive. Not a future Hollywood leading man.
And we may have thought that God would place this new Man in the time of world history when CNN could broadcast His miracles and compassionate acts for the world to see. Highlight reels of power and mercy would span the internet. His body would be placed in a prominent, cosmopolitan area so that He may have the broadest platform from the outset. Kings and queens could be His relatives. But this is not what the Creator intended. No, the Savior would be born to a normal peasant woman in a normal town before the dawn of the information age. He would never be seen on film, never have his own podcast, and never oversee His own brand apparel.
Yet, the Lord said, “a body you have prepared for me” and “I have come to do Your will.” Within the bounds of the humble body made for Him and within the simple time in which it was placed, Jesus of Nazareth inaugurated a new era. A new covenant. A new creation. And we, in this month of December, consider Him whose body was fashioned to be our Savior, our redemption, and our hope. With wonder as we behold Him, we add our voices to the multitudes that say, “For to us is born this day, in the city of David, a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”