The Infinite has become an infant!
(Charles Spurgeon, "The Condescension of Christ!")
"Even angels long to look into these things!" 1 Peter 1:12
Oh, how surprised angels were, when they were first informed that Jesus Christ, the Prince of Light and Majesty, intended to shroud Himself in clay and become a babe, and live and die! We do not know how it was first mentioned to the angels — but when the rumor first began to get afloat among the sacred hosts, you may imagine what strange wonderment there was.
What! Was it true that He whose crown was all bedecked with stars, would lay that crown aside?
What! Was it certain that He about whose shoulders was cast the government of the universe, would become a man dressed in a peasants garment?
Could it be true that He who was everlasting and immortal, would one day be nailed to a cross?
And when He descended from on high, they followed Him; for Jesus was "seen by angels," and seen in a special sense, for they looked upon Him in rapturous amazement, wondering what it all could mean.
Oh, can you conceive the yet increasing wonder of the heavenly hosts when He put aside His majesty — when they saw the tiara taken off, when they saw Him unbind His belt of stars, and cast away His sandals of gold?
Can you conceive it, when He said to them: "I do not disdain the womb of the virgin — I am going down to earth to become a man!"
And now wonder, you angels, the Infinite has become an infant!
He, upon whose shoulders the universe hangs — hangs at His mothers bosom!
He who created all things, and bears up the pillars of creation — has now become so weak that He must be carried by a woman!
And oh, wonder, you angels who knew Him in His riches, while you admire His poverty!
Where does the new-born King sleep? Had He the best room in Caesar's palace? Has a cradle of gold been prepared for Him, and pillows of down, on which to rest His head? No! Where the ox fed, in the dilapidated stable, in the feeding trough — there the Savior lies, swathed in the swaddling bands of the children of poverty!
See Him who made the worlds — handle the hammer and the nails, assisting Joseph in the trade of a carpenter!
Mark Him who has put the stars on high, and made them glisten in the night; mark Him without one star of glory upon His brow — a simple child, as other children.
Let us leave the scenes of His childhood and His earlier life. See Him when He becomes a man — as for His food, He oftentimes hungered; and always was dependent upon the charity of others for the relief of His needs!
He who scattered the harvest over the broad acres of the world — at times had nothing to stop the pangs of His hunger!
He who dug the springs of the ocean — sat upon a well and said to a Samaritan woman, "Give me a drink!"
He rode in no chariot, but He walked His weary way, foot-sore, over the flints of Galilee!
He had no where to lay His head. He looked upon the fox as it hurried to its burrow, and the fowl as it went to its resting-place, and He said, "Foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests — but I have nowhere to lay my head."
He who had once been waited on by angels — becomes the servant of servants, takes a towel, girds Himself, and washes His disciples' feet!
He who was once honored with the hallelujahs of ages — is now spit upon and despised!
Oh, there are no words to picture the humiliation of Christ! What leagues of distance between Him that once sat upon the throne — and Him that died upon the cross! Oh, who can tell the mighty chasm between yon heights of glory — and the cross of deepest woe!
Trace Him, Christian. Follow Him all His journey through. Begin with Him in the wilderness of temptation, see Him fasting there, and hungering with the wild beasts around Him. Trace Him along His weary way, as the Man of Sorrows, and acquainted with grief. He is the byword of the drunkard, He is the song of the scorner, and He is hooted at by the malicious — see Him as they point their finger at Him, and call Him a "drunken man and wine-bibber!"
Follow Him along His 'Via Dolorosa', until at last you meet Him among the olive groves of Gethsemane — see Him sweating great drops of blood!
Follow Him to the pavement of Gabbatha — see Him pouring out rivers of gore beneath the cruel whips of Roman soldiers!
With weeping eye follow Him to the cross of Calvary, see Him nailed there!
Mark His poverty — so poor that His unpillowed head is girt with thorns in death!
Oh, Son of Man, I know not which to admire most — Your height of glory — or Your depths of misery!
If I had a tale to tell you this day of some king, who, out of love to some fair maiden, left his kingdom and became a peasant like herself — you would stand and wonder, and would listen to the charming tale. But when I tell of God concealing His dignity to become our Savior — our hearts are scarcely touched!
"For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich!" 2 Corinthians 8:9