The Tension of the Incarnation
As the beginning of Advent draws near (this Sunday), I thought I would share the words* of Melito of Sardis, the bishop of Sardis in the 2nd century. In each of these phrases, he seems to have captured at least a part of the biblical tension we need to have when we think of the Incarnation. May these truths be a blessing to you and cause your heart to turn to our Savior in worship.
Though he was incorporeal, he formed for himself a body like ours.
He appeared as one of the sheep; yet, he remained the Shepherd.
He was esteemed a servant; yet he did not renounce being a Son.
He was carried about in the womb of Mary, yet he was clothed in the nature of this Father.
He walked on the earth, yet he filled heaven.
He appeared as an infant, yet he did not discard his eternal nature.
He was invested with a body, but it did not limit his divinity.
He was esteemed poor, yet he was not divested of this riches.
He needed nourishment because he was man, yet he did not cease to nourish the entire world, because he is God.
He put on the likeness of a servant, yet it did not impair the likeness of his Father.
He was everything by his unchangeable nature.
He was standing before Pilate, and at the same time he was sitting with his Father.
He was nailed on a tree, yet he was the Lord of all things.
(*Taken from Gregg Allison’s rendering of the original in his Historical Theology.)