Sunday, October 18, 2015

Reflections on Jesus Christ as Very God and Very man

2 Peter 3:18 "but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen."

Today's post aims to offer some reflections from scripture on what is meant when we say that Jesus Christ is very God and very man. As can be seen in the opening verse, we are commanded to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. No one can ever exhaust the Person of Jesus Christ. He is all-together lovely. May the following reflections serve not only to only expand the reader's mind about Jesus, but to also deepen the heart in Him. 

The Person of the Son Pre-existed and co-existed in a shared Eternal, undivided Divine nature with the Father and the Holy Spirit before the beginning of time (Psalm 2; Psalm 110; Proverbs 30:4; John 1:1; John 17:3-5; Colossians 1:13-16) . When I speak of nature, I refer to the way in which a being expresses its own existence. Hence in talking about the Lord Jesus Christ, it is vital to speak of Him in regards to first His Person and then secondly and thirdly the two natures which He now possesses. We will then wrap up the post with some final reflections.

First, as indicated, the Person of the Son has possessed the Divine nature with which He has enjoyed with the Father and Spirit from all eternity. As “True God”, the Son is the visible expression of the invisible Father, which no man has seen nor can see (Hebrews 1:1-2; Jude 1:25). In the language of the older Christians, there has never been a time that the Son was not, or stated positively – the Son has always been, is and is to come (Revelation 1:8). 

Secondly, the Son as “True God” touching His Divine nature possesses all of the Divine essential attributes, such as omnipresence (John 3:13); omnipotence (Colossians 1:16-17) and immutability (Hebrews 13:8). The Son and the Father in eternity agreed upon the Son’s incarnation and self-imposed humiliation to the cross (Philippians 2:5-11; Titus 1:2). This is practically important to the Christian for the sake of recalling that Jesus is more than able to take care of us in this life, salvation life and the life to come. 

Then thirdly, as the Son ever retained His Divine nature, He did enter into history and humanity by taking upon Himself a second way of expressing His existence, a second nature – albeit a human nature. Thus the Son, also designated the Eternal Word, co-equal with the Father (John 1:1) became flesh (John 1:14). The titles revealed in the New Testament indicate to us the Son’s Eternal Divine and in-time-assumed human natures. Matthew 1:21 for example states He was to be named “Jesus” during the announcement of His pending birth while still be referred to as “Immanuel” or “God with us” in Matthew 1:23. Conversely, John 1:14 clearly emphasizes that the Eternal Son, being God, is the “Word made flesh” (John 1:14) while at the same time being the fullness of Deity in His humanity (Colossians 2:9).

In putting together what we have discussed thus far in terms of Jesus' Person and two natures, the union of true humanity and true Deity in the Person of the Son, Jesus, was a true hypostatic union that did not co-mingle, confuse, harmonize nor distort His Deity nor humanity. This miracle was achieved by the Holy Spirit hovering over in the mysterious but nonetheless true and historical miracle of the virgin conception (Isaiah 7:14; Luke 1:35). Touching Christ’s Deity – He ever partakes of Deity with the Father; and touching His assumed humanity – the Son chose to partake of humanity by way of the virgin’s womb (Matthew 1:21-23). 

As very man, the Son chose to experience life in the self-imposed constraints that come with being a man: including hunger, fatigue, temptation and pain (Matthew 4:1-13; 27; also the parallel accounts of the crucifixion in the other four gospels). He sweated (Luke 23:34); grieved (John 11) as a man – because as very man – he was truly a man. Jesus experienced the full range of human emotions and life without ever sinning once in thought, word or deed (Hebrews 5:14; 1 Peter 2:22). As “truly man”, Jesus had the ability to die (1 Peter 3:18). As “truly God” or “very God” – His atoning work and resurrection verified both His true and undiminished Deity and His perfect and full humanity.

Closing thoughts
As we close up these reflections today, I want us to prayerfully consider the above reflections. To think about Jesus Christ in His Person, we can only speak of Him now as being “The God-man”, meaning that He as One Person has a true Divine nature and true human nature that is resurrected. In His ascension, the Son as the Incarnate God was exalted by the Father (Acts 1:11; Philippians 2:5-11). The Son is seated at the Father’s right hand and makes intercession for His people as a man for them to God and as God representing God to His people (Hebrews 1:1-2). The Person of the Son will forever retain His glorified, physical humanity while ever remaining a partaker of infinite Deity with the Father and Holy Spirit. He now and forever will be the Prophet (Hebrews 1:1-2); High Priest (Hebrews 8) and King of Kings (Revelation 19:1-10). He is going to return at the end of the age as the God man in a physical, glorified, resurrected, ascended body just as He promised (Acts 1:11; 1 Corinthians 15:23-28; Revelation 19). 

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