From our family to yours…..
Enjoy the holidays, and remember Christ was born (even if it wasn’t on Christmas Day). Even more importantly, consider the reason why he – King and kings and Lord of lords, God of all creation – humbled himself to take on the form of man, to be obedient unto the death of the cross, and to rise again the third day!
If you would like to read more about it, but are intimidated about cracking open a Bible, how about starting with Good and Evil? It’s an extremely well-done, graphic novel of the Bible. The artwork is amazing, the storyline is true to the Bible text. We love it!
The sin dilemma, solved by the Incarnation
God created us and therefore owns us, and has the right to make the rules for us. He has set a perfect moral standard of which we fall short (Romans 3:23). He is perfectly just, so must punish moral shortcomings. Since our shortcomings offend His infinite holiness, the punishment must also be infinite.
Either we must suffer such punishment, or else a Substitute must endure it in our place (Isaiah 53). This Substitute must fulfil two conditions:
1. He must be fully human to substitute for humanity. Hebrews 2:14–17 tell us that Jesus died for mankind, precisely because He “shares their humanity”; but he didn’t share angelic nature, so sinning angels are out of luck. Furthermore, the prophet Isaiah foretold this coming Saviour as literally the ‘Kinsman-Redeemer’, i.e. one who is related by blood to those he redeems (Isaiah. 59:20, which uses the same Hebrew word גּוֹאֵל (gôēl) as is used to describe Boaz in relation to Ruth). This is possible only becausethis Saviour is a physical descendant of the first man Adam via Mary (Luke 3:38)—and is called ‘the Last Adam (1 Corinthians 15:45)—which makes him the relative of all humans in all ‘races’ or people groups who have ever existed. Thus theistic evolution doesn’t just undermine Genesis and a literal Adam, but jeopardizes this vital Kinsman-Redeemer concept as well.
2. He must be fully Divine to endure God’s infinite wrath (Isaiah 53:10), since a mere creature could not withstand it. Furthermore,יהוה/YHWH/Jehovah/God Himself said “I, even I, am the Lord, and apart from me there is no saviour.” (Isaiah 43:11). So calling Jesus ‘Saviour’ is logically calling Him YHWH since YHWH is the only saviour. No wonder that the great Trinitarian Church Father Athanasius noted: “Those who maintain ‘There was a time when the Son was not’ [i.e. was a created being] rob God of his Word, like plunderers.”
This required dual nature of the Redeemer fits perfectly with 1 Timothy 2:5:
For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.
An ideal mediator between two groups should ideally be a member of both. Thus Jesus is such a mediator, because He is the only member of both groups: ‘God’ and ‘man’.