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Communion Meditations (2006)

On The Incarnation

Originally delivered April 16 (Easter Sunday)

C. S. Lewis once said that all of Christianity could almost be condensed to one doctrine and one fact.  The doctrine is salvation by grace; that seems obvious enough.  But the fact he cited is not the Resurrection.  It is the Incarnation.


It is the teaching of the church from its earliest days that Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ, was (and is) God in the flesh.  The importance of the fact can be seen this way:

· Virtually all of the heresies inflicted upon the church center upon the idea that Jesus could not have been what He so plainly claimed to be.  The heretic says that He is either not God or not Man.  Dozens of variations exist—but this is the core:  Who do you say that Jesus is?

· If He is not God, he is not sinless—for all of Adam’s children have sinned.  If He is not sinless, then He cannot be the acceptable, unblemished sacrifice demanded by the justice of the righteous God.

· If He is not Man—His favorite title is Son of Man—then His death, burial and resurrection are frauds, mere play acting.

What He did depends on Who He is.  The purpose of the Incarnation is the Atonement.

The Incomprehensible

The common heathen of today is a much simpler man.  He has no example before him of a church willing to die in the thousands and even millions rather than deny her Lord.  He therefore sees no evidence of the Resurrection, and takes comfort in thinking that the Resurrection is a miracle—or would be, if science allowed such things.  Since miracles are unscientific, they don’t happen.  Since they don’t happen, there is no evidence that they ever did.  Therefore there are no miracles, and therefore there is no Resurrection. 

That argument is a simple logical fallacy; circular reasoning.  But it comforts the heathen mind.  Today’s heretic has a different argument:  “Yes, but…”  This is followed by one of the common heresies of the early church. 

But if there is no resurrection, then we are fools fit for pity.  We also die in our sins, and face the judgment alone and guilty.  So, then, the point is important to us.

The Imminent

But the Resurrection does not stop there.  The church has taught from its earliest days that Christ will return—in power.  God’s justice will come with it—reward, for those who have served so faithfully.  Punishment—a lot of outstanding debts will be paid on that day.

When?  Soon.  When will that be?  In His good time, when we least expect it.

Remember, then, that when you take this cup and eat this bread you proclaim our Lord’s death—the Atonement—until He comes again.  It is your testimony to the Incarnation, to the Atonement, to the Resurrection—and to His soon return.

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