If you’ve been around me long enough, you’ve heard me tell the story of the little boy who was scared one night from a ferocious storm. Lightning and thunder hurtled toward his bedroom window, and he cried out for his mom.
His mom came to his room and did her best to comfort her little, frightened boy. She said, “Don’t worry. God is here with you in the room.”
The little boy replied, “Well, I need someone with a little skin on him.”
God with skin. The Incarnation. Incarnatus—God “en-fleshing” humanity.
J. Oswald Sanders wrote that the mystery of the Incarnation will never be fully explained until “we know even as we are fully known.” Lecerf said, “The presence of mystery is the footprint of the divine” (The Incomparable Christ, 38).
The Incarnation may be shrouded in mystery, but what is revealed is that God chose this path, because “we needed someone with a little skin on him.” We need connection, closeness, and proximity to the One we follow. And we need redemption, forgiveness, and the chasm between God and us eradicated by the blood of the Lamb.
The Apostle John summarized the reason for Jesus’ arrival, “The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8, ESV).
Presence and power. Two prongs emerging from the same source. The Incarnation is God’s presence in Jesus, Emmanuel—God with us. You are not alone to face the storms of life. Jesus is still with us through the presence of the Holy Spirit. In John 14 Jesus said, “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you” (John 14:18, ESV).
The Incarnation is also God’s power in Jesus to destroy the works of the devil. We are all unfortunate recipients of the devil’s works, and we need the ongoing power of Jesus to destroy the effects of those works in our lives. “Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4, ESV).
As you gather with family and friends this Christmas, take time to reflect on God’s presence and power revealed in the Incarnation. We need Someone with a little skin on Him, and His name is Jesus. We need Someone who is greater than the power of darkness that clouds our hearts and minds, and Jesus is that power.
All praise to Thee, Eternal Lord,
Clothed in a garb of flesh and blood;
Choosing a manger for Thy throne,
While worlds on worlds are Thine alone.