Was it necessary? What did it accomplish? What does it mean to you?
Here is the table of Christ’s states:
For a quick explanation of the entire image, please click here:
This post answers the left side of the up-sweeping arrow. Why did Jesus lay aside his glory and existence in the form or nature of God and become man?
If you would like to see the following verses in many translations or in their contexts, please go to biblegateway.com.
1.. He revealed God to us.
Without the Incarnation, we would only have a glimpse of a veiled God. We needed clarity and intimacy.
No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known. (John 1:18)
If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.” 8 Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.” 9 Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. 11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves. (John 14:7-11)
Now we have a much fuller and clearer picture of God.
2.. He can be an effective substitutionary sacrifice for our sins.
For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham’s descendants. 17 For this reason he had to be made like them,[a] 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. (Heb. 2:16-17)
See Heb. 10:1-10, which is too long to quote, so it is linked here.
He loved you so much that he sent his Son into this broken world to die for your sins, so you would not have to die for them. You can’t die for your sins because you are a sinner and degraded, in contrast to a perfectly holy God. You needed a sinless, perfect savior, a substitute.
3.. His incarnation destroyed the works of the devil.
The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work. (1 John 3:8)
Since the children have flesh and blood, he [Jesus] too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil (Heb. 2:14).
Now you have authority over the devil in Jesus’ name.
4.. He fulfilled Bible prophecies.
They spoke of a Messiah to come, and God would not allow his promises to fall to the ground.
Please see a long table of Messianic prophecies:
5.. He fulfilled the Davidic covenant.
God spoke through Gabriel that his Son would inherit the throne of David.
“You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.” (Luke 1:31-33)
6.. He is now a sympathetic high priest.
Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven,[a] Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. 16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. (Heb. 4:14-16)
He understands our weaknesses, because he too was a human and was tempted in every way, but without sin.
7.. He is a mediator between God and us.
For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus. (1 Tim. 2:5)
This ministry is similar to his being a high priest. We needed him to stand before God and introduce us to him.
8.. He reveals to us what our bodies will be like in their resurrected state.
But each in turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. (1 Cor. 15:23)
Jesus’s resurrection is the “first fruits,” which means that the rest of the harvest is like it. Our bodies will be like his.
Next, his body was raised in glory and power to be a spiritual body. Ours will be like that. We will be recognized by our friends and family in glory / heaven.
So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; 43 it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; 44 it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. (1 Cor. 15:42-44)
And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. (Col. 1:18)
His being the first-born from the dead is like his being the first-fruit. He is the pattern for our bodies.
9.. He fulfilled God’s original purpose for man to rule over creation (Grudem, p. 541).
But we do see Jesus, who was made lower than the angels for a little while, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone. (Heb. 2:9)
hen Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” (Matt. 28:18)
And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church (Eph. 1:22)
In God’s original purpose, he put man here to subdue it and to be a caretaker—to take care to take care of it. Yes, the key word is “care.” When humankind rebelled against God, then he lost that right. In Christ, he can be restored to his original purpose.
10.. He set an example for us to follow.
To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. (1 Peter 2:21)
Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did. (1 John 2:6)
Part of following his example is to do his works. We must complete the picture by seeing healing from disease, deliverance from satanic attacks, and the power of the gospel in our preaching to save people and grown them up in Christ. Through him we can do greater works than these (John 14:12).
11.. He is now qualified to be a righteous judge.
Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son … And he has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man. (John 5:22, 27)
So how do I get to know Jesus more deeply?
There are definite purposes to Jesus being God incarnate—the fullness of deity lives in bodily form in Jesus (Col. 2:9). There is nothing inherent in God’s nature that blocks him from stepping down into time and showing us a better way and redeeming us and offering us the gift of eternal life with him.
God sent his son because he loves the world.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
Jesus lived a perfectly sinless life. He ministered the love of God and blessed people with genuine miracles. Most importantly, he was raised from the dead, after redeeming us on the cross. Then he ascended up into heaven where he has all authority and power.
The more important: those eleven purposes relate to you and me and our salvation and relationship with God.
Written by James Malcolm
ARTICLES IN “DO I REALLY KNOW JESUS?” SERIES
6. Do I Really Know Jesus? Why Did He Become a Man?