For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the MAN CHRIST JESUS, (1 Timothy 2:5). “for God [is] One, and One [is the] Mediator of God and mankind, a MAN, Christ Jesus (or: for [there is] one God, and one medium between God and humans, [the] human, Anointed Jesus),” Jonathan Mitchell New Testament Translation.
Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son (a human child), and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, “God with us.” In this article Jesus the HUMAN, God’s Last Adam, will be considered. Some generally held beliefs may be shaken, however, it needs to be said that other than his death, there has been a tendency to dehumanize our Lord’s earthly life. Therefore the active grace of God in our lives has been limited as we have a sanitized view of his humanity. We forget that he lived as a servant-son in a life of faith and obedience depended upon the grace of God.
Standard Christian theology claims that Jesus was “fully God and fully man,” in other words a “god-man.” So the question becomes, Did Jesus function while on earth as Deity: a god-man, or as a 100% man of faith, subjected to similar conditions like we go through? The answer to this question is very relative to our Christian walk.
Was Jesus the first human son of God? No! Adam was. (Luke 3:38). So, what was different, since his human seed line began with the First Adam? Did Jesus have some special power so that he was sin free, except when he took on the sins of all of us at the cross? The common theology would have us to believe that it was impossible for him to sin, that is to “miss the mark,” but was it? Do we understand what the last two words of Hebrews 4:15 really mean? “For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in ALL things as we are, yet WITHOUT SIN.” Think about it.
Jesus was born sinless in his humanity, completely helpless upon the Father as was the First Adam. We know that Adam willingly chose to sin, miss the mark, when tested and became dependent upon himself. Jesus chose NOT to miss the mark. It must be asked, as to how he could fail to pass the wilderness testings if he did it as a god-man? How could he fail to pass all trials, tests, temptation if he was a god-man? The answer is, he couldn’t. Does this then mean when it says he can empathize with us in our trials that it really isn’t so? Hardly, but not as a god-man!
Before discussing the kenois (self emptying) of Jesus, when he set aside his heavenly role, I’d like to share what a young Canadian woman recently said. Amanda Lindhout who had been held captive by a Somalian rebel group for 15 months, in a February 2010 Canadian Press article, is quoted as saying: "I have the unique chance to actually experience what freedom feels like, but you can only feel freedom if you know what it feels like to not have it." Think about that! You cannot appreciate what you have until you don’t have it. God in Christ understands this principle by being one of us.
The wording of Philippians 2:7-8 describing the kenosis, when the Son set aside, his deity for a time, is critical to our understanding of the manhood, the humanness, of Jesus. Jonathan Mitchell’s NTT gives full meaning to this critical event.
Verse Seven: “but to the contrary, He empties Himself (or: removed the contents of Himself; made Himself empty), receiving (or: taking; accepting) a slave's form (external shape; outward mold), coming to be (or: birthing Himself) within humanity's (mankind's; peoples’) likeness.”
Verse Eight continues with how he would then function. “And so, being found in a present condition and outward appearance (or: fashion) as a human (a person; a man), He lowers Himself (or: humbled Himself; made Himself low; degrades Himself; levels Himself off), coming to be (or: birthing Himself) a submissive, obedient One (one who gives the ear and listens) as far as (or: to the point of; until) death – but death of a cross (torture stake)!”
It cannot be understated that he lived among us as a man and not as God. Even though Jesus was indeed the son of God he walked in the limitations of a human being. We know that he got tired, hungry, and had to develop from childhood into manhood. In all of his various testings/temptations, the whole range of human temptation, we find that there had been no ground in him for sin. It must be said, that temptations without the possibility of failure would have been a sham, if not genuine, then they would have been bogus and useless for us. What value was there if the possibility of failure was not there? None.
We are reminded of the one Thing that kept Jesus from failure in all aspects, and it is the same Thing that will keep us as we trust him, which is the grace of God. Jude 24 tells us: “Now in (or: by; to) Him being powerful and able to keep and guard you folks from stumbling (or: tripping) and from harm, and then to stand you blameless (or: without stain).” Jonathan Mitchell NTT.
In all of his testings/temptations there was no ground in him for sin, and unlike the First Adam, the Last Adam did not fail. This led to his final testing, his crucifixion and death. He had laid aside his deity, then he was to lay aside his humanity. In 1 Corinthians 15:21-22 we read: “For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive.“
The phrase, “God our saviour” is found in six New Testament verses, and indeed God was in Christ reconciling all to himself. Does this take away from the humanness of Jesus? No! He accomplished this, not as God, but as a human upon whom God had placed the sin of all mankind. We indeed take comfort and help in these words found in Hebrews 4:15 knowing that what Jesus went through was indeed very real and very human.
“For you see, we do not have a chief priest who is unable or has no power to sympathize (to have a sense-experience with; to feel a stab of sympathy or suffer together; ch. 2:10) with our lack of strength, but One having been put to the proof — in accord with all things (or: down with all men; corresponding to all people) [and] in corresponding likeness — apart from failure (mistake; error; sin; failing to hit the target).” Jonathan Mitchell NTT. Hallelujah what a Savior!
The truth that Jesus lived his earthly life as a human, with all of its limitations, frustrations and trials, and not as a god-man must never be forgotten. It was the HUMAN CHRIST JESUS that ascended into heaven. The resurrection had produced change in his body, however, he remained a man. In Acts 1:3 we read, “To these He also presented Himself alive after His suffering, by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over a period of forty days and speaking of the things concerning the kingdom of God.” If Jesus wasn’t physically alive this display would have been pointless.
The time would come later for the restoration of his deity. This was after his ascension into the heavens with his physical human body for his glorification at the right hand of our Father. Perhaps we could say his re-Godification. The work of salvation and restoration was done, and for all time he is now Lord to the glory of God our Father.
John Gavazzoni recently made these comments: “The exaltation of humanity in the exaltation of Jesus, as a Man, is a truth little understood, and little appreciated. He said to Mary Magdalene in His resurrection appearance to her, "Don't cling to me, for I am not yet ascended to my Father.” In Him, Deity underwent a descent from glory, into the depths of Hades, and an ascent back up again into glory, with the process drawing forth out of the depths of glory, the entirety of all Its Radiance.
“There are various levels of a notion that Jesus left His humanity behind in His ascension. I was pressed years ago to make an emphasis of principle with the following adage: "By His incarnation, the Son did not cease to be Divine, and by His glorification, He did not cease to be Human." End of quotations.
We continue now with Philippians 2:9-11 from Jonathan Mitchell’s NTT.
9. For this reason, God also lifts Him up above (or: highly exalted Him; elevates Him over) and by grace gives to Him (or: joyously favors on Him) the Name – the one over and above every name!
10. to the end that within The Name: Jesus! (or: in union with the name of Jesus; in the midst of the Name belonging to [Yahweh-the-Savior]), every knee (= person) – of the folks upon the heaven (of those belonging to the super-heaven, or [situated] upon the atmosphere) and of the people existing upon the earth and of the folks dwelling down under the ground (or: on the level of or pertaining to subterranean ones) – may bend (or: would bow) in worship, prayer or allegiance,
11. and every tongue (= person) may speak out the same thing (should and would openly agree, confess and acclaim) that Jesus Christ [is] Lord (Master; Owner) – [leading] into [the] glory of Father God (or: unto Father God's good reputation; [progressing] into a manifestation which calls forth praise unto God [the] Father)!”
The cry from the cross in his dying moments was, “IT IS FINISHED!” This meant that our sin nature, our sins, our old Adam has been completely dealt with. It meant that Satan was defeated! Oh how God’s people need to learn, believe and apply this truth in their lives! The futurist claim the battle is ahead, the truth is, it is over and done, the victory is won! We need not fear some beast or supposed antichrist, for our Lord Jesus Christ is now, not will be, The Mighty Conqueror, The Victor Supreme!
We joyfully hail the power and authority of Jesus Name, because God has given him THE Name above all others. It was not a god-man this Name was given to, for deity did not need it. Why was The Name given? It was given because Jesus laid aside his deity to become one of us, a human, and succeeded to the point of death on a cross. This death defeated sin, and death and brought the New Covenant into being. It brings all of humanity into the Last Adam, the expression of God in humanness.
The time is coming when ALL OF THE CREATION will bow and worship the MAN CHRIST JESUS as LORD. Prior to his crucifixion, the Roman soldiers mocked him with, "Hail, King of the Jews!” and gave him a reed for as a sceptre, a purple robe of mock royalty, a crown of thorns, and bowed before him. That was then, but those same soldiers will again bow before him, this time in reverence as they joyfully hail him as their Lord, their King and Savior.
“Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other. Truth shall spring out of the earth; and righteousness shall look down from heaven.” Psalm 85:10-11 KJV