God apparently loves to surprise us with the unexpected—to throw us curve-balls—to make us look beyond the surface. People had many different expectations for a coming Messiah but none expected what actually happened. The power and glory of God came through the backdoor where no one was looking. His presence startled us. St. Augustine of Hippo captures the paradox:

Man’s maker was made man that He, Ruler of the stars, might nurse at His mother’s breast; that the Bread might hunger, the Fountain thirst, the Light sleep, the Way be tired on its journey; that Truth might be accused of false witnesses, the Teacher be beaten with whips, the Foundation be suspended on wood; that Strength might grow weak; that the Healer might be wounded; that Life might die.