GOD HAPPY WITH THE INCARNATION
As happened when the foundations of the earth were laid, the heavenly hosts rejoiced also at the incarnation. The angel of the Lord brought “good tidings of great joy” to the shepherds. “And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men” (Luke 2:9-14).
What made God so pleased with the advent of the “Savior, which is Christ the Lord” (v. 11)? Before the incarnation, the earth was the earth, man was man, and God was God. But at this point God made Himself one with man. Jesus is the mingling of God and man. “They shall call His name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us” (Matt. 1:23).
How regrettable it is that the glorious fact of the incarnation has been corrupted into the Christmas celebration. Christians, for the most part, have only the understanding that a Savior was born to them. That God has been brought into man and made one with man escapes them. When Jesus was living on this earth, He was a wonder. He was the great God mingled with His creature.
The Bible is silent, except for one occasion, concerning the first thirty years of the life of Jesus. He was called a carpenter (Mark 6:3). In those thirty years He did not do any great work. The lesson in this is that God has no interest in our works. If God wants anything done, He speaks, and it is done (Psa. 33:9). He does not need us to work for Him.
GOD HAPPY WITH CHRIST’S BAPTISM
Christ began His public ministry by being baptized. On this occasion “the heavens were opened to Him…and behold, a voice out of the heavens, saying, This is My beloved Son, in Whom I delight” (Matt. 3:16-17). The word delight here is from the same root as good pleasure in Ephesians 1:5 and 9. The Father took pleasure in this One who turned Himself over to John the Baptist to be baptized. By receiving baptism He was symbolically receiving the cross. This is apparent from his questions to the sons of Zebedee much later: “Can ye drink of the cup that I drink of? and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?” (Mark 10:38). By baptism He meant His crucifixion.
In the eyes of God, then, the death of Christ was pleasant. God delights in the crucified Christ. From week to week as we have the Lord’s table, we display this pleasant death to the universe (1 Cor. 11:26).
GOD HAPPY WITH THE RESURRECTED CHRIST
When Christ was transfigured, “behold, a voice out of the cloud, saying, This is My beloved Son, in Whom I delight; hear Him!” (Matt. 17:5). The transfiguration was a foreshadowing of the resurrection. The changing of His form also typified His glorification. He asked the two on the road to Emmaus, “Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?” (Luke 24:26). We can see from this verse that entering into His glory was the same as His being resurrected. God took pleasure in the resurrection and glorification of His Son.
GOD HAPPY WITH HIS SON REVEALED IN US
“It pleased God…to reveal his Son in me” (Gal. 1:15-16). God’s good pleasure is wrapped up with us. There was joy in heaven the day we were saved because the Son of God was then revealed in us. This pleasure of God relates to all the other things that made God happy. If there had been no earth, how could Jesus have lived in Nazareth? Without the creation of man, how could there be Emmanuel, God with us? Without the earth and man, there could not have been the incarnation, crucifixion, and resurrection of the Son of God. It was by His mingling with man that He became the Son of Man, instead of remaining as only the Son of God.
When He came into us, the meaning of the earth, of man, of the incarnation, of the crucifixion, and of the resurrection all became our portion. Where is Christ today? He is universal. He is both God and man. He is in the heavens and on the earth. We are one with Him. At one time we were ordinary people, insignificant sinners. But now there is something wonderful about us. It is hard for us to explain to others what we are, who we are, and even where we are! The Son revealed in us has brought us into the meaning of the earth, of man, and of the incarnate, crucified, and resurrected Lord.
(Life Messages, Vol. 1 (#1-41), Chapter 33, by Witness Lee)