In the letter written to the church in ancient Philadelphia, Jesus reminds his people that he is coming soon. He gives them encouragement to hold on to what they have. What do they have? They have hope based on Christ himself. It is a hope based on his sin-bearing death and based on his life-giving resurrection. That work now gives all God’s people hope in Christ’s glorious return.
It is a mystery how Christ could have two natures (the divine and human) inseparably joined together in one person without conversion, composition, or confusion. Christians don’t blindly assert this mystery of the incarnation. They have studied it and witnessed to it for centuries, but what does that sentence actually mean?
The incarnation reminds me about my own creatureliness. It reminds me of my own fleshly reality and being. It reminds me that I’m not a “spirit being” living inside a “meat-suit.” God created us body and soul and declared it good. Jesus took on flesh. God was not afraid to get dirt under his fingernails in his own creation.
Some people connect the dots they see and figure that this data points to a story in which we are all time + matter + chance. We are a momentary hiccup in the wave of the universe as it keeps rolling. One philosopher has called human life and everything that we enjoy a “random collocation of atoms." How does this story of our existence stand up?
The Old Testament is full of glory and tragedy. Often the hero of an OT story turns out to be one more flawed person. This always serves to highlight the truth that God is the true hero of the Bible. This passage shows us the glory and tragedy of the OT in the story of David and his son, Solomon.