None of the plans that God had come up with seemed, from a human perspective, to be working out so well. Made man and woman in the midst of the wonders filling creation –only to watch them find greater pleasures in something else. Led His huge hoard of people along, generation after generation, only to be truly honored and loved by a few rare ones. Offered forgiveness over and over to those who turned away from Him. I mean, what kind of God would keep chasing after people so foolish, obstinate, and self-willed?
And then the culmination of it all was found in God putting on flesh to pursue His people. No longer just to guide them from afar or welcome them back with open arms, but to become “God with us”. A strange plan, seemingly full of flaws. He had everything to lose, they had everything to gain. Too risky for people who have failed time and again. Why give so much for them?
And again it looked like few followed, another plan destined to fail. At first a few wise men. Years later a few fishermen, a couple tax collectors. Sometimes crowds would come to see what this Flesh would awe them with, but most would return home without bearing the name of disciples.
And, as in the past, the plan fails again. They turn on Him, turn from Him. He is mocked, beaten, killed. Was this the amazing Promise? But wait a few days… And beyond our comprehension, life comes out of death. Hope comes out of despair. We stand here justified, when we were condemned before. And then we see, that this Flesh changed everything. We look at the baby, lying beneath that bright star. He no longer is just a glimmer of hope, now He is confirmed as the hope of the nations. We look at the man teaching the crowds and realize that he was not just a great moral character, but was fulfilling righteousness for those who could not achieve it. We look at the torn body, sagging on the cross, and realize that He was saving those who He had been pursuing since time began. We look at the empty tomb and see Him as the conqueror and king. It looks like the plan may be working out.
As the plan continues, it starts to get confusing again. These same people, full of failures, who now He has had to give His life to save, He makes as the ones that will carry His message out. They will image Him into the world. Again, He chooses to make Himself known through flesh, but now the flesh of men. Once again, it appears destined to fail. But He sends His Spirit as a guide, comfort, strength. They go, not as perfect men, strong and wise and composed, but frail, broken, and humbled as they take His name wherever they walk along the course of their lives.
You or I wouldn’t have done it this way. We would’ve quit at the garden. Man wasn’t worth pursuing anyhow. A total let-down. At every step of the way we could have found a hundred reasons to stop loving mankind. And if we had gotten all the way down to a Messiah, he wouldn’t have come as a weak, fussy baby. No, he would have been a fearsome warrior. And then, we certainly wouldn’t have made the people who had let us down over and over and over again our representatives. Nope. But God did. He has been glorified by plans beyond human comprehension. He has been and will be glorified by strange things. Strangely, even by your flesh and mine, against all odds. Praise His name for all that He has done. Give glory to God in the highest, from the broken, frail, and tired down here with our feet still dirty on this dust. And thank Him that He became broken, frail, and tired with dirty feet for us.