Verse of the Day
“The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”—which means, “God with us.” [Matthew 1:23]
Immanuel, God with us. We know that Jesus is fully human and fully divine, but why is His human side so important? There are several reasons. First, the obvious one, which is found in Hebrews 2:14-18…
Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil—and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham’s descendants. For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.
Jesus was the perfect sacrifice, our Savior and Redeemer. The only way that this could happen was for Jesus to become flesh and blood just like us. His blood was spilt on the cross and it is His sacrificial blood that shields our sins from God’s view so that we appear white as snow on Judgment Day.
Jesus’ humanity is important for another reason. Although He was one of us, He lived a perfect, sinless life. He provides an example for us to follow and indeed we are commanded to be like Him, to be Christ-like.
We are all familiar with Jesus’ temptation by the devil in the wilderness. Had He faced Satan as a mere man, He would have failed. Only His Godly nature kept Him from succumbing to the devil’s wiles and deceit. Keep in mind that Jesus was a man. He had eyes, ears, a nose, a tongue, and fingers. He had all the same senses that we have. Jesus received the same sensory input from the world around Him that we do, and yet He was not tempted as we are by lust, greed, jealousy, power, and on and on. Jesus also suffered from the same physical pain and distress that we do. He could identify with us because He was one of us. Another interesting thing about Jesus and His humanity is that it makes clear that His physicality has nothing to do with perfection. Stated another way, there is no such thing as physical perfection.
Now this is the cool part. The fact that Jesus was human and lived a perfect life makes being like Him seem attainable. I know we are commanded to be like Jesus, but it often seems downright impossible this side of Heaven. But we can be Christ-like. Jesus says as much. An amount of faith the size of a mustard seed is our goal. So strive to develop Christ’s character and His faith. That is the gift He’s given us. He was one of us. Now that is a truly amazing and inspiring thing, isn’t it? It gives me hope. And I pray it does the same for you.