One of the most powerful — yet highly unusual — messages of the Bible is that God became a human. In doing this, Jesus did not leave his divinity behind. In a mysterious and supernatural way, Jesus is truly God and truly man in one person.
There are far, far more religions that actually teach the opposite. That is, they promote the idea that humans can and will become gods. As we advance in morality, science, and other types of knowledge (these people say), we will gradually become more and more divine in nature.
How interesting that the Bible teaches that Jesus, in order to rescue us, needed to become a man, rather than elevate us to become gods. Jesus became a human to understand our human hardships and suffering. He became a human so that he could be our substitute, and live perfectly — obeying God’s law in our place. He became a human so that he would have a body to sacrifice for our sins, and blood to shed for our transgressions.
This is really the message of the entire Bible in a nutshell. Rather than giving us rules through which we are to elevate ourselves, God gave us a rescuer, who lowered himself into position alongside of us.
Think of the people stuck on Everest in the past several days at Base Camp. The rescuers could have given the survivors of this avalanche directions on how to save themselves and all the injured with them. But the reality is the situation is impossible. No one would be able to follow the instructions and make their way past the avalanche. So instead, the rescuers sent helicopters, which landed alongside those who were stranded and injured, and lifted them out to rescue.
We are buried behind an avalanche of our own making. It’s our own sin. And were we to try to climb out by trying to obey God’s rules, we would only end up dying for eternity.
That’s why Jesus became a human. He landed here alongside of us who are stranded and injured by our own sins, and by his death and resurrection, he lifted us out to salvation.
Our Bible reading for Wednesday, April 29, is Joshua 15:1 – 16:10, John 1:1-28 and Psalm 53:1-6.
Lord Jesus, thank you for being willing to become a human being to rescue me. You know what it is to be a human. And you know death even, because you gave up your life as a perfect sacrifice for my sins. I thank you for this, and for winning eternal life for me through your death and resurrection.
Header image based on "Helicopter taking off near Namche" by Meg and Rahul, CC By 2.0