The doctrine of the incarnation—that the Godhead was “veiled in flesh,” to quote Wesley’s great hymn—is filled with ironies. As God, the Word has enjoyed all the attributes of deity from eternity past. But as man, the Word become flesh partook of the weaknesses of the creature. He fled and slept; He bled and wept. He died that He might purchase us with His blood.
The following text probably needs to be tightened up a bit if it is to be used in song, but it searches out some of the mysteries of the Incarnation and expresses my adoring wonder. What a Savior we have!
Almighty slept—What irony!
Be awed by Christ’s humanity.
In cattle stall then violent storm
Almighty slept, first young, then worn.
Almighty slept—Who slumbers not!—
And God as man salvation brought.
Be struck by God’s fragility.
As mothers mourned and Herod schemed
Messiah fled, warned through a dream.
Messiah fled, yet at God’s time
Embraced the cross with joy sublime.
The Maker sweat—A mystery!
Be touched by His humility.
By toil fatigued and sin oppressed,
The Maker sweat that we may rest.
The Maker sweat great drops of red
To ponder death in sinners’ stead.
The Sov’reign wept—Such empathy!
Be moved by mourning majesty.
As once He grieved at Laz’rus’ tomb,
The Sov’reign wept with death-like gloom.
The Sov’reign wept in garden still,
Yet bowed before His Father’s will.
The Savior bled—Oh travesty!
Be pierced by Jesus’ agony.
As Satan raged and sinners scorned
The Savior bled—despised, forlorn.
The Savior bled for sin perverse
To vanquish sin and end the curse.