The humanity of Christ
by beatrice ofwona
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The blessed thing about the birth of Christ is that God chose to introduce Himself to us through the family. John 1:14 says, ‘the Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth’. Another verse that verifies this entry is Mathew 1:23, ‘The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son and they will call him Immanuel which means, ‘God with us.’ And thus the Lord left the heavens and came to dwell amongst us.
The subject of Christ’s humanity is contentious because most people are unable to reconcile his deity and his humanity-how and for what reason could God become an ordinary human being and live amongst the people of the earth in a normal family set-up? The understanding of this comes from an understanding of the person of Jesus Christ.
We think of a transcendent God in awesome terms; a mighty God who dwells high up in heaven. But think of a God who leaves all these awesomeness and becomes a mere human being; a mighty God who becomes limited; an immortal who becomes mortal for our benefit; a creator who becomes human. This remains a profound mystery to us all. Yet no religion on earth can proclaim a deity such as Christ’s where God became man through incarnation leaving His dwelling place in heaven to come to His footstool, earth.
The book of Mathew starts off by explaining the genealogy through which Christ came to earth. Christ had to be born in the lineage of David with Abraham as his ancestor. God understood one principle of life, that if you want to help people, you must be willing to be like them in order to help them. He came to earth through Christ; in a human form because if He was going to redeem mankind, He needed to be like us.
Christ had a body like us, bled like us, felt pain at crucifixion just like we would, and yet was God. He was Son of Man but also Son of God. He felt hunger, fatigue, sorrow and compassion like us and was tempted like we are. He even wept in John11:35.He had human names and titles of teacher, priest, prophet, shepherd, but as Phil 2:5-11 reminds us; he emptied himself of his godliness to be like us. He stooped low to experience all anguish and pain that we go through. We therefore learn several things from this.
Christ’s humanity was purposed. God had pre-programmed it all from the foundations of creation. Ephesians 1:4-5 says, ‘For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love He predestined us to be adopted as His sons through Christ Jesus in accordance with His pleasure and will’. Revelation in 13:8 says, “all inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast-all whose names have not been written in the book of life belonging to the lamb that was slain from the creation of the world’. This gives us hope in the knowledge that we are in a program, God’s very own. As such we are confident that the creator of the cosmos will bring our own lives into consummation.
Luke 1:31-32 gave an annunciation of the birth of Christ,’ you will be with child and give birth to a son and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David ..’ Joseph was in the lineage of David and through him the Savior would come to earth. We may be many on earth but God knows each and everyone of us specifically. Mary was the virgin who was chosen to bring in the Savior. If you have to be God’s vessel of honor, you must be separated from corruption and blemish. God separated Joseph and Mary, an ordinary couple, to carry the birth of Christ to fruition.
Christ’s life on earth was revealed through humanity. He was referred to as the Son of Man and Son of David. Mathew 26:45 says‘….Look the hour is near , and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners’. Jesus came to us as an ordinary man. If he had come as some superman, probably many would not have embraced him. Why then did he come in a bodily form?
Christ had to be the perfect human sacrifice. Hebrews 10”:8 confirms this ‘.. We have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all’.
Christ’s humanity helped us to understand God; he revealed God to us. In seeing Christ, we saw God. Christ himself explained this to us in Mathew 11:27, ‘All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father and no-one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him’. Similarly in John 1:18 he further confirms, ‘No-one has ever seen God, but God the One and only , who is at the Father’s side, has made him known’. Christ made God real to us.
Christ came to provide forgiveness to mankind; through him we see the reconciliation of man to God. At the cross he said’ Father forgive them for they know not what they do’. It is a fact that we knew not who we were crucifying. The light of the world came to the world and we failed to recognize him. Luke 19:10-‘ for the son of man came to seek and save what was lost’.
Christ came to free mankind from the devil. Hebrew 2:14-15 says that ‘since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death-that is the devil- and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death’. The devil binds and blinds those who are not saved, he keeps them blind to the truth that is Jesus Christ. However, one power that was shaken when Christ was born was that of the devil’s and through Herod, innocent children were murdered.
Christ came to free mankind from the power of sin. Our nature suggests our sinfulness but he gave us life. Romans 6:11- ‘count your selves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires’.
Christ became human that he may help those who are suffering or are tempted in any way. Hebrews 2:17-18-‘For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he may become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted’. Therefore if you feel lonely, betrayed and rejected, remember that he has been there. If you have infirmities, be reminded that by the beating he received, you are healed.
Christ came to fulfill the Davidic covenant-one would be born who would destroy the serpent. Isaiah had long prophesied about his birth before it happened. Romans 15:8 ’For I tell you that Christ has become a servant of the Jews on behalf of God’s truth, to confirm the promises made to the patriarchs..’ Our God is a covenant keeping God. Through the birth of Christ, God was fulfilling His promise. Christ had to be born as a human being to fulfill; the Davidic covenant. Every promise concerning your health, your prosperity and your provision, God will fulfill it. That is just the way He is.
Salvation is a reality. Christ-likeness is a possibility and you need not struggle with it because he will help you with it. Philippians 2:13 Paul says ‘ For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose’. Christ did it. So can you, by his help. When you have accepted him as a personal savior, you have the assurance that he is helping you out and especially if you live in obedience to his commandments and teachings.
To God’s glory, Jesus Christ never did anything independently of God. Are you willing to be in submission of God and Christ? Emmanuel, God with us in all perfection.
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