Here’s a question I’ve been thinking about. Why did the Word become flesh as a baby? If God could turn stones into sons of Abraham (Matthew 3:9) surely his Word could have become a six foot, white robed, blue sashed, long haired (though with a neatly trimmed beard) man somewhere up in heaven ready to descend to earth to change water into wine and make atonement without first becoming a crying baby able onto to change milk into poo? Isn’t it all slightly embarrassing? Is this why all the pictures of ‘baby Jesus’ make him out to be the only baby who ‘sleeps like a baby’? And is this why preachers are very quick to say: and don’t forget this baby in the manger became a man and will return to judge in power?
But if we’re embarrassed about God the baby, shouldn’t we be even more ashamed of God the forsaken criminal on the cross? On the cross Jesus was stripped naked and deprived of the ability to feed himself. Unlike a baby (who is well capable of swinging his arms and legs about if he needs to) his arms and legs were pinned to the cross. On the cross he became more helpless than a baby.
Christ came to us in our weakness. He becomes what we are in our weakness, first at his birth then, more gloriously at the cross. God’s glory isn’t just in his ‘height’ (his powerful acts as sovereign creator of all) but also in the depths he plumed for us that we might become what he is.
So when you look up at the stars and marvel at the greatness of God, don’t forget that this God became a baby for you – and this is his glory.