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Our hope in Christ's victory over death

David Limbaugh on

Many things about Christianity are counterintuitive but none more than this: God the perfect Father sent Jesus the perfect Son to Earth as a human being to suffer and die for the sins of imperfect human beings so that those who believe in the Son would receive the perfect Holy Spirit and live in eternal love with God.

Scripture makes all this clear.

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." (John 3:16).

"In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death -- even death on a cross!" (Philippians 2:5-8).

"And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you" (Romans 8:11).

While we properly emphasize Christ's deity, we sometimes underappreciate His full humanity. It's distasteful for lowly humans to imagine that the God of the universe could or would take on human form, let alone do so to save us. Shouldn't that be beneath Him?

 

Of course, that's precisely the point. It was beneath Him, and He did it anyway out of His pure love for us -- each of us as individuals. He became human to save us but also to empathize with us through His suffering so he could feel our pain. His human suffering, which is worse than ours could ever be considering He is God, makes Him approachable, as the writer of Hebrews affirmed.

"For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace to help in time of need" (Hebrews 4:15).

Through His incarnation and passion, Jesus not only relates to us but also enables us to understand Him. Given His perfect attributes, one would think mere humans couldn't fathom His nature, much less relate to Him. And yet we can do both.

Perhaps we can't fully comprehend God's infinite love, power and knowledge, but we can understand His nature. The Gospels reveal Jesus' nature and thus God's nature. Jesus tells us, "Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father" (John 14:9), and "The one who looks at me is seeing the one who sent me" (John 12:45). Apostle Paul (Colossians 1:15) and the writer of Hebrews (Hebrews 1:3) express the same truth.

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