John Calvin, in his massive work Institutes of the Christian Religion (translated by Henry Beveridge), describes the glorious exchange wrought by the incarnation of Jesus Christ.
I am guilty of not meditating on the wonders of the incarnation. The thought that God became man is simply astounding, and yet I do not think about it nearly enough. In my reading of Calvin’s Institutes, I came across this comparison of what we gained and what Jesus loss. It is a thought that draws my mind into deeper meditation and appreciation of Christ’s work in becoming man.
Calvin paints this exquisite picture,
This is the wondrous exchange made by his boundless goodness. Having become with us the Son of man, he has made us with himself sons of God. By his own descent to the earth he has prepared our ascent to heaven. Having received our mortality, he has bestowed on us his immortality. Having undertaken our weakness, he has made us strong in his strength. Having submitted to our poverty, he has transferred to us his riches. Having taken upon himself the burden of unrighteousness with which we were oppressed, he has clothed us with his righteousness. (896-897)
Christian, are you discouraged? Think about Jesus. I end with Paul’s thoughts, “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Cor. 5:21, ESV)