I am currently taking three seminary courses: Biblical Archaeology, Christian Theology II (Christology (the study of Christ), Soteriology (Salvation), and Pnuematology (Holy Spirit)), and Pastoral Counseling. It has been a lot of work, and while quite rewarding, I have also been pretty tired. We cover so much territory so quickly that I have wondered what to share that wouldn’t involve creating a context first, and I’ve decided to share about the incarnation.
The incarnation refers to Jesus becoming human. John 1 says that the Word who existed from the beginning, who both was God, and was with God, became flesh. So Jesus who is fully God, the living Word, became en-fleshed (incarnated) into a human body, thus becoming fully human. It is a great paradox that Jesus is wholly God and wholly man, but this is what happened. Jesus is the Son of God, and Jesus is the Son of Man. Only as wholly God and wholly man could He bring reconciliation and mediation between these worlds that should never have had such a chasm between them. There is so much to say regarding these two natures of Jesus that exist in His one person, but I will highlight just a few:
Most striking to me is that as the Son of Man Jesus represents THE man–He represents what all humanity should look like when filled with the life of God (the Spirit of God). We think of ourselves as humanity, and come up with sometimes negative conclusions about our human state. But as Jesus demonstrates, it is not being human that is the problem, but the illness (sinfulness) that has crept into every aspect of humanity and transformed our “normal”. Jesus comes with freedom, and lives as God intended for all humanity. Comparatively, we cannot possibly match Him, yet God created us (and is recreating us) to live like Christ. This is truly incredible.
Also, as the Son of Man, Jesus is able to fully relate to us, and this is another aspect that is so amazing yet so hard to fully grasp. He knows us as God, but He also KNOWS us as a fellow man. I have frequently heard it mentioned that Jesus understands our sin and pain, having born these on the cross, but there is so much more than that. He also simply understands what it feels like to be human and to have limits–the joys of humanity, the temptations, the sorrows–He knows and has experienced all of it. It is incomprehensible.
Jesus is no less amazing as the Son of God. Jesus is uniquely the Son of God–we are adopted sons and daughters of Christ (able to receive the inheritance and lifestyle that comes along with that sonship), but He alone is THE Son of God. He alone was born of God. We (Christians) were re-born of God (and those who have not experienced this are invited to receive His salvation as He died for the sins of the whole world)–but we are only adopted siblings of Jesus, since we are birthed by humanity. This differentiation brings a new level of exaltation to Christ, and it also has ramifications for us in understanding God’s love. How awesome is it that we would be considered a fellow inheritor of the Kingdom, as if we were born of God ourselves!?!
The last I will mention is how awesome it is that Jesus, the Son of God, has become our salvation. His name is Yeshua (salvation); and indeed, He is the living embodiment of salvation in every way. If He were only the Son of Man, as Jews expect of HaMashiach (the Messiah), then He could have conquered and brought healing to the physical realm only. Instead He is the thread that can mend the gap between the heavens and the earth. He brings full restoration both spiritually and physically–it is a “now” and “not yet” promise, and I am so excited for the completion of this reconciliation.