Dear Members and Friends of our ELS:
Need to know you are loved? How about having truly divine love with skin on it? The Word became flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:14).
Packed into that sentence is the greatest love the world has ever known or ever will know. The height of God’s love for sinful mankind is found in the depths of the incarnation (taking on human flesh) of His beloved Son, our Savior. God could have abandoned us to the eternal destruction we sinners deserved. But in mercy, He promised and proclaimed his love for us. Then, at the appointed time, He even put skin—His own flesh and blood—into His unsurpassable love! The Lord Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary.
Think of what this skin-enclosed love means:
Because of our Lord’s incarnation, we have a true substitute who saves sinners. Without God becoming man, we would be lost in our sins. Now, through faith in Him, we have solid hope!
Because of our Lord’s incarnation, we have one who was tempted in all points as we are, but remained absolutely perfect. In word and action and every precise thought, the holy Jesus fulfilled what the Law demands of us.
Because of our Lord’s incarnation, we have one who paid the full price that divine justice demanded of us sinners. The blood of Jesus, the God-Man, has with certainty atoned for our sins.
Because of our Lord’s incarnation, we have the very One who sympathizes with our weaknesses. We can take our prayers to Him and be confident He understands us, hears us, and in mercy gives us His wise answers.
Because of our Lord’s incarnation, we have a related miracle that sustains our faith—the giving of the Real Presence of his body and blood under the bread and wine in the Lord’s Supper. This conveys to us personally the remission of sins.
Because of our Lord’s incarnation, we have One who even now bears His love marks for us. Our risen and ascended Lord’s nail piercings and spear mark forever will testify to the completed work of our salvation.
Finally, because of the Savior assuming our own skin, we are to know and believe beyond any doubt that God truly does love us and will grant to believers glorified flesh like that of our Savior’s in the day of the great resurrection.
If we inquire about the personal cost to someone in connection with an earthly transaction, we may ask the question, “Does so-and-so have any skin in the game?” Our God put his skin not into a game, but into his love for our lives!
Have a truly blessed Incarnation Celebration!
Rev. John A. Moldstad, ELS President