More than two thousand years ago, a simple girl named Mary was visited by the angel, Gabriel. He proposed what seemed like an impossible scenario, that God Himself would take human form, indwell her human body, and be born as the person Jesus. The concept that God would take a form that could indwell and live inside of a human body was a new concept, and Mary was challenged to believe that God could really do this and agree to accept His plan.
As we know, that Christmas day when Jesus was born, the world was forever changed. Even our calendars testify to the magnitude of that change, since our calendar years begin with the birth of Jesus.
But it all began with the important decision Mary made that day, to consider and accept her Lord indwelling inside her body. “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Luke 1:38
For Mary, God indwelling her human body forever changed her life. The merging of Jesus inside of Mary created a new outcome. Mary was changed and her life on earth was changed. The world around Mary was changed by her acceptance of Jesus, and eventually the entire world was altered
During Jesus’ ministry on the earth, He taught His disciples about a slightly different concept of God indwelling a human body in the form of His Holy Spirit. This would be available to all who believe in Him and accept His life inside of us, much like Mary did. We call it “born again” because God’s Spirit is born inside of us at that very moment. Jesus described it this way to a Jewish rabbi name Nicodemus, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to the Spirit.” John 3:5-6
As the day of Jesus’ death on the cross drew near, Jesus again taught his disciples this concept, the indwelling of His Holy Spirit, as a way that they would be able to carry Jesus on the inside of their bodies for the rest of their lives. Jesus said, “I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever – the Spirit of Truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.” John 14: 15-17
When Jesus was crucified and rose from the dead, He let his disciples know that through His death and resurrection, this indwelling of the Holy Spirit was now available to them. Before His ascension into heaven, Jesus said “For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” Acts 1:5
After the disciples were baptized with the Holy Spirit, many people asked them about this occurrence. Peter told them, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Acts 2:38
Just as Mary’s life was altered when she accepted Jesus into her human body, our lives are altered by accepting Jesus into our human bodies also. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17
The merging of God’s Holy Spirit and our human flesh creates a change in our life’s trajectory with a whole new outcome. For my own life, I know the negative ingredients of my past life could not produce the life I have today without the presence of Jesus inside of me. My life changed course when I asked Him into my life, to dwell inside of me. The condition and quality of my life changed at that moment in time. Because Jesus indwells my earthly body, my life is forever altered and all new possibilities are open to me, not because of who I am, but because of the new creation that was formed of Jesus and me together. I now have access to all that I am, mixed with all that He is, merged together.
As in the words of our Christmas songs, Jesus is called “Immanuel,”which means “God with us,” spoken by an angel to Jesus’ earthly father, Joseph, and also written and foretold by the prophet Isaiah hundreds of years before.
Christmas is not just a holiday, but the reminder of the loving offer by God, for all who believe in Him to make the same decision as Mary, to accept the life of Jesus to live inside of us, forever changing us, and altering the course of history.
“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.”
– Isaiah 7:14 (NIV)
“Father, let us truly appreciate and experience the life altering power of the indwelling spirit of God in each of us. May we always recognize the Holy Spirit and the cost that Jesus paid on the cross in order to unleash God’s presence on this earth….”
The Raptor Project