So after a two-week hiatus, we’re back. This week we discussed the first half of chapter 4, since we just found so much to talk about that we didn’t make it through all of the material. Between a really fruitful discussion and a little need for reading-catch up, we’re going to pick up next week right where we left off.
This chapter mainly focuses on Jesus’ humanity. Much of what we discussed today centered around the Incarnation — a stunning truth in and of itself. Think about it: God, uncreated and eternal, uncontainable and all-encompassing, became human. He didn’t just operate a human body via remote control from heaven. He didn’t merely possess a human being. He, Himself, the second Person of the Trinity, literally became a Man.
At one level, it’s shocking to see the difference. And it should be. We should feel the awe of this joining of divinity to humanity that shook creation. The theandric (God-Man) union should blow our minds and cause us to put our mouths to the dust in worship. How could a God so holy bow so low in meekness? How could our Creator join Himself to His own creation forever? How could the Almighty become a baby? How could the one who formed man from the dust become a Man Himself? The shocking contrast is meant to inspire awe and wonder in our hearts.
But at the same time, this was not a grudging sacrifice to Christ. It was not some sort of masochistic martyr-complex that led Him to become human. He is humble. He always has been. It is fitting — it is profoundly right — that He bow to the utter depths of humility for the sake of the ones He loves. His assumption of human flesh is perfectly congruent with His character. It is in His becoming human that we learn volumes about the divine nature. God is love. God is meek and gentle. God gives of Himself freely.
We also discussed how the Incarnation was necessary for Jesus to be the perfect mediator. As an example, when two nations are in conflict, it must be resolved by a diplomat from each nation. There is not a country on earth that would trust their adversary to draw up and finalize peace terms by themselves. A representative of both parties must be involved so that the interests of both parties may be preserved. Jesus, as both God and Man, is uniquely qualified to stand as the one Mediator between heaven and earth.
There is a great quote by John Calvin towards the end of the section on Christ’s mediation, describing how that if Jesus were only God, He could not have died, but if He were only human, He could not have overcome death. Both natures were therefore necessary to accomplish the work of redemption through the crucifixion and resurrection.
Next Week: We’ll be finishing out chapter four. Looking forward to discussing it! Remember to keep pray-reading those Christological passages, and feel free to comment regarding any questions, revelations, thoughts, etc.