Why is it Important that Jesus is Human?
If tomorrow morning you woke up and were told that you had to go to court the next day to face the charge of murder, several things would probably go through your mind all at once. One of the things pretty high on that list would be that you need a lawyer. You need someone who knows the system, who knows the laws, and who can help you navigate all the potential issues. But you would not want a lawyer that you could not relate to. You would want one who was personable. You would want someone who has experience in situations like this. You would not want a lawyer that had never dealt with a situation like yours. When we have someone representing us, we want someone who can relate to us and can understand where we are. This is part of why it is important that Jesus is fully Human.
He is Like Us
Hebrews 4:15 says, "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." He has been in the situation we have been in before and can help us but more than that, he is like us. But more than that, because he is like us he is able to pay our debt. The Heidelberg Catechism in question 16 asks "Why must He be true and righteous man?" In essence, the question is asking why Jesus had to be fully human and sinless. Why couldn't an angel or someone like you or me be the sacrifice? Why can something else like an angel or a lamb be the sacrifice? The answer is quite simple, the debt was incurred by man, and by man, it must be paid. 1 Corinthians 15:21 tells us that death came by one man, Adam, and by one man, Christ, resurrection from death has come. The justice of God demands that the same human nature that committed the sin be the one that made satisfaction for that sin. From the very beginning of scripture, we see this put forth that one who is fully human, descended from Eve, would crush the head of the serpent.
But Without Sin
It is also essential that we understand that the mediator had to be without sin. He could not just be human but had to be unblemished human. Dr. Ursinus put it this way "If the Mediator himself had been a sinner he could not have escaped the wrath of God, much less could he have procured for others the favor of God, and exemption from punishment." It would have been impossible for Christ to pay the debt for others if he was in debt himself. Christ fulfilled the law in all its aspects. He perfectly performed all that was required. Not only that but he taught us the full extent of the law by showing us that it is not just about outward actions but a matter of the heart. It is a matter of our desires and will. Christ taught and demonstrated how we are to obey the law and made it possible for us to follow it. Apart from his perfect righteousness, no one is righteous.
It was essential that our mediator be fully human. That he suffered as we do. That he was tempted as we are. That the same humanity that incurred the debt paid the debt. But the debt could only be paid by one who was without sin. Christ is fully human. He ate like we do, slept as we do, wept as we do and in every other respect, apart from sin, was just like us. It is our great comfort that we have a mediator who knows what we are going through. He knows what we are going through because he has been through the same things we have. Throughout the history of the church, there have been people who have attempted to deny that Jesus was really human. They teach that flesh is bad and a pure God could never really take on flesh. They cannot stand the idea that Jesus had to go to the bathroom. But scripture clearly teaches that Jesus is fully human, just like you and me, but he has overcome every temptation. What a great comfort to know that the one I turn to can help me no matter what I am going through.
Soli Deo Gloria
Rom: 5:12, 15; I Cor. 15:21; Heb. 2:14-16. Heb. 7:26, 27; I Pet. 3:18.