Wednesday, July 27, 2016

With us and for us

Today I am pondering the deep significance of the fact that everything Jesus did for us he did as one of us.

I think it would be fair to say that the emphasis of much contemporary evangelical theology and preaching falls on what Christ has done and accomplished.  In essence, that means the cross and resurrection (with a wee bit of teaching and miracle working in the background).  If anything about the person (as opposed to the work) of Christ is stressed, it is his deity - this is God intervening in our history for our good.  This is not in itself a bad thing.  It can't hurt us to talk more and think more about what Jesus has done for us, and without a doubt the Scriptures support the idea that the death and resurrection of Christ on our behalf are the central and most significant things that he has done.  And the emphasis on the deity of Christ makes a certain amount of sense in a culture which takes humanity for granted but denies divinity - not to mention that of course none of the achievements of Christ can have ultimate significance unless they are genuinely the acts of God.

Still, I do think it's important to take on board that in Jesus the eternal Son and Word of God came as one of us.

Of course no orthodox theologian or preacher would deny this.  But some of the staggering implications are not always brought out as clearly as they might be.  If the Son of God has united himself to our nature, then what he does in his death and resurrection is really for us.  It is genuinely humanity that dies on the cross - his death is our death, in so far as we are sinners and rebels against God.  It is genuinely humanity that rises on the third day - his resurrection is our resurrection, in so far as we hope in him.  Because the Son of God came as one of us, uniting us to himself, what he has done genuinely affects us.  The atonement doesn't happen somewhere apart from us - it is not something God accomplishes remotely from us, and then perhaps 'offers' to us.  It is something done in humanity, even as it is something that could only be done by God.

Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.


  1. This is very encouraging Dan. Thanks.

    1. Thanks Adam - I found it an encouraging thought this morning, so seemed worth sharing!