And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us

I found this fantastic image while looking for Christmas art. Unfortunately, as I tried to do research, I wasn’t able to discover much about the art or the artist. All of the links were dead. However, I was able to glean some comments from the site about the artist’s ideas for this unique artwork.

The artist, whose internet name is JACKIEpainting, wrote this about the art: “So, here is my vision of the Author of Life in His early days here on earth with the Virgin Mary, Joseph and some shepherds.”

As we view the art, enjoy the unique angle as we look from above onto the scene with Mary, Joseph, the baby, a cow and some shepherds. As we look closer, we might quibble - as one person does in the comments on this piece - that the baby is portrayed as Caucasian with blonde hair. The artist responds: “Well, that’s why it’s my vision of Him, I believe that gold’s color is a good color for the King of kings, and also draw my version of the Virgin Mary as a redhead.”

The most striking element is the Savior in the manger casting the shadow of the Savior on the cross. With this simple shadow, the artist captures the essence of the Bible verse on which this art is entitled: “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).

Jesus Christ is the Word, the One “through [whom] all things were made” (John 1:3). He is the One who carved out the depths of the oceans. He is the One who set the stars ablaze. What could possibly hurt Him? Nothing. Well … nothing until the Word became flesh.

And what type of flesh? Human flesh – with the full of use of the Son of God’s power and glory set aside. Infant flesh! The same chubby fingers that pulled on Joseph’s beard are the same fingers that curled in pain around a rough nail. The same little toes that wiggled when Mary ticked them are the same toes that bent in agony on the cross. The same mouth that giggled and squealed with delight on Christmas Day is the same mouth that breathed its last on Good Friday. 

The One who was so powerful that He started the universe spinning on its axis became so weak He needed Mary to feed Him. The One who was untouchable became entirely exposed to a murderous king, a traitorous disciple and a cowardly governor.

In love, God took on human flesh. Because of His affection for humanity, the Almighty became vulnerable. Out of pure grace, the Son of God who deserved the praise of the saints and the angels had His flesh scourged, His brow pierced, and His limbs nailed.

“The Word became flesh.” Those words speak volumes about how genuinely God loves us. The shadow of the cross cast by the Child in the manger demonstrates how deeply God cares for us.

“The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” God does not deal with our sin and rejection in a remote and detached way. He became flesh. He became sin for us. He did all this so that men’s sins would not count against us, but counting our sins against the Word made flesh (2 Corinthians 5:19).

Everything the Son of God did from becoming an embryo in His mother’s womb to His sitting at His Father’s right hand in glory was done for our salvation.

That is the true message of Christmas – Jesus being laid in a Bethlehem manger so that He might die on a Roman cross and then rise from a Jerusalem tomb.


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