The Humanity of Jesus
By Mary Kroeger
Jesus was the "Word made flesh." (John 1:14) Words are needed for communication. So God sent His Word in human form in order to communicate His love for us, and to establish a way to communicate with us! Since God is spirit, and our human eyes cannot see spirit, we need something visual in order to get a correct understanding of who God is. To fulfill this need, God sent Jesus Christ to be the exact image of the invisible God! (Heb. 1:3)
How do we visualize Christ's humanity? Did He have to be just like we are in order to be human? If so, why could He overcome every temptation when we fail in much lesser temptations? Can He be fully human if He differs from our humanity? We are told that this is because He was also fully God. How can He be fully God and fully human? At that point our logic fails, so we are told that we have to accept this by faith.
Is there an answer to this question? What does it mean to be fully human? Does it mean that He needed to have a carnal mind like we do? Did He have to overcome the thinking that is in the carnal mind of death to be human like we are human? If so, did Jesus come into this world, dead in trespasses and sins, like we do? How could He, who is the life, also be in death? Or is our understanding of Christ's humanity faulty?
Again, we have to go back to the beginning. Did Adam have a carnal mind when God formed him of ground and blew His breath into him? Was his mind against God at that time? At first we see that he worked together with God and did what God told him to do. He named all the animals and had a good relationship with God. However, when he disobeyed God, listened to the serpent and obeyed the serpent, he inherited the serpent's mind - the mind that is against God! So that mind does not belong to the humanity that first came into being!
Although Adam was formed of pure ground - ground can be corrupted. Adam's original humanity did not have a carnal mind. He received that mind (the mind that is always against God) at the time he disobeyed God. This meant that he could no longer communicate with God. His whole understanding of God changed! In his mind, God had become his enemy.
Adam's communication with God had been broken. How could it be restored? How could God reveal His love to a people who could not hear Him? How could He change people' wrong concept of who He is? How could He get them to believe the truth?
Love found a way! Since humanity could not understand spiritual words, God sent His Son in the likeness of humanity, to be His communication to us! When the Word became flesh, humanity could see what the invisible God was like! The Word, in a body that was formed of ground, came to reveal the very image of the invisible God. Through Mary, Jesus Christ received that body!
The humanity in which Jesus came was the same humanity that Adam had before he sinned. It had the same outward appearance. He looked like an ordinary person. He needed food and rest. He felt hurts, rejection, and pain! He desired companionship. So how was it different? He came in life - not in death! His life had its source in God! He was the Word that was born of God. Christ's body had its source in a union of the Word with the body of humanity. Adam's body was formed of ground, and then it was united with the breath of God. Christ's body was first the Word, and then it became flesh. Although Jesus Christ had a human body, He was not ruled by the needs and feelings of His body! He was ruled by the will of God! He was the way, the truth and the life! Jesus did not have the carnal mind of the serpent. That mind is always against the truth. This brings us to another question. Then why in Christ's prayer in the garden, did He say, "Not My will, but your will be done."? Did this not prove that He had a carnal mind alongside His spiritual mind that was against the Father's will? It certainly looks that way, and for many years I believed that He did. What changed my thinking?
I thought and taught that it was so hard for Him to submit to the awful torture, rejection and shame, that He sweat drops of blood! Then the Spirit spoke to me and told me that this was not the case. Although that would be extremely difficult, it was not the greatest trial. Combined with the weakness and torture of the human body, the Father was asking Him to be united with death - with the consequence of disobedience! To become united with death, He would first have to take on the sins of the whole world -not internally in disobedience, but externally in obedience to the Father's will. This was totally against the will that is in life! So He had to give up His will to remain in life, and embrace the Father's will. In obedience to the Father's will, He became the sin-offering for the sins of the whole world! He yielded to the Father's will, regardless of how difficult this was for Him!
This was the greatest battle that He fought in the garden of Gethsemane! Adam died because of his disobedience to God's directive. Christ died in obedience to God's will. In obedience to God's will, He became united with death, overcame death, thus setting all the captives of death free! He did all this as the Son of Man, the corporate Christ! As Jesus Christ had prophesied, the Son of Man rose victoriously in life! In so doing, He took all the freed captives with Him! When death is overcome, it no longer exists in the overcomers. Since Christ overcame death, there is no death in Him! There is only life! There is no death in those who are in Christ!
Christ's obedience to the Father's will revealed His oneness with the Father! It revealed God's love for a humanity that had inherited the serpent's mindset! It revealed God's saving and keeping power. It revealed His grace to all who believe. It revealed that His righteousness consists of freeing everyone from the unrighteousnes of having believed the lie! It revealed that life is stronger than death, and that love never fails.
In Christ's submission to the Father's will, we see the blessedness and fantastic life that God has in store for those who obey Him! In Christ we see God's wonderful plan for all of creation! In Christ we see how wonderful our invisible Father God is!
How we thank Him for making a way for us to enter into His presence! In His presence we can have fellowship with Him! In His presence we can get to know Him! In His presence we are changed into His image, from one glory to another glory!