“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8 ) God doesn’t change. His essential nature (“morphe”… see Day 18) has always been and will always be God. But in the incarnation, the second person of the Trinity, the Word made flesh… Jesus; though being in “morphe” God (see Philippians 2:6), did not consider God-equality something to be clung to but made Himself nothing, and taking on Himself the form of a servant and being made in likeness of man….” (Philippians 2:7) And there we encounter the second word that will deepen our thinking about the incarnation.
“The likeness of man” translates a word having to do with shape or external appearance. The word is “schema” which is the origin of the English words “scheme” or “schematic.” Jesus, you remember from our devotional yesterday, has the essential, unchanging nature of God (“morphe”) but He also possessed the external “schema” (shape or likeness) of man. His morphe never changed. His schema (external appearance) changed radically from embryo, to fetus, to preschooler, to toddler, to adolescent, to young adult, to adult….just as our external appearance changes and yet we continue to be human beings through all those changes.
Now I know this is deeper than we may want to go, but we must try and get a glimpse of what our Savior experienced so that we may know something that is hopeful. He knew what being human meant. He wasn’t playing a game when He walked among us as the God-man. He really hurt. He really cried. He really lived. And He really died. We can know He is never far from any of us, never distant. Always as near as our call to Him….as our need for Him.
And we need to see Him for Who He is. “Why should the eye be so lazy? Let us exercise the eye until it learns to see,” said GK Chesterton. Let us use our eyes until we can see past the superficial, past the piled up layers of unreality, past the Photoshop portrayals and into the reality of the mystery of the Word made flesh.