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When my children were little, I read them the entire Chronicles of Narnia series by C.S. Lewis. This passage is from the last book in that series, "The Last Battle":

"'It seems, then,' said Tirian, smiling himself, 'that the Stable seen from within and the Stable seen from without are two different places.'

"'Yes,' said the Lord Digory. 'Its inside is bigger than its outside.'

"'Yes,' said Queen Lucy. 'In our world too, a Stable once had something inside it that was bigger than our whole world.' It was the first time she had spoken, and from the thrill in her voice, Tirian now knew why."

Tirian and his forces had been fighting the Calormenes, who had been stroke by stroke herding them toward the door of a little thatched stable, 12 feet long and 6 feet wide. Inside, they were supposed to meet their doom. But when they were finally forced through the door, they found themselves in another world entirely. The door still stood there for everyone to see; but the stable was gone. They could walk around the door, which was standing brightly in the meadow, as if it grew there.

But when they put their eyes to a crack in the door, they could still see into the tiny stable. That is what prompted Digory's reaction that "Its inside is bigger than its outside," and Lucy's bright memory that "'In our world too, a Stable once had something inside it that was bigger than our whole world."

Indeed it did.

And that is one of the great mysteries of God and the incarnation.

To say that Jesus was born in Bethlehem is perfectly accurate, as is the seemingly contradictory statement that he has always existed and never had a beginning. God the Son began to be flesh in Bethlehem, but he did not begin in Bethlehem.

To say that Jesus was held in the small hands of Mary is perfectly accurate, as is the seemingly contradictory statement that his own then-tiny hands once formed mankind from the dust of the earth. Without his hands forming Adam, her hands would never have been holding him to her bosom.

To say that Jesus was weak and helpless, unable to walk and talk, and wholly dependent on his young, nursing mother to feed him, is perfectly accurate, as is the seemingly contradictory statement that he was at that exact same moment deity and therefore utterly omnipotent.

To say that Jesus needed hours and hours of sleep each night and naps during the day is utterly accurate, as is the seemingly contradictory statement that he, as the very God who keeps his people, neither slumbers nor sleeps.

To say that Jesus was at risk of being killed by that bloodthirsty tyrant, Herod, is utterly accurate, as is the seemingly contradictory statement that he later made that no one could take his life.

To say that Jesus was poor, very poor, in fact, is utterly accurate, as is the seemingly contradictory statement that he owns the cattle on a thousand hills and paved the main street in his hometown with the purest gold.

To say that Jesus was just an anonymous baby born in a tiny, backwoods town is utterly accurate, as is the seemingly contradictory statement that he was so very well known that a star literally moved through the heaven to point out his location to the foreign dignitaries heading that way to worship him.

To say that he came to live is utterly accurate, as is the seemingly contradictory statement that he actually came to die.

Many years later John put it this way in John 1:14: "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth."

It was exactly what Lucy was talking about; the day that a tiny stable held something bigger than our whole world.

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Pastor Bo Wagner

Bo Wagner is pastor of Cornerstone Baptist Church of Mooresboro, North Carolina, a widely traveled evangelist and the author of several books available on Amazon and at www.wordofhismouth.com. Email him at 2knowhim@cbc-web.org.

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