Fully God and fully a man

Deniliquin Pastoral Times - - News - ~ Con­trib­uted by Pas­tor Chris Tay­lor of the De­niliquin Bap­tist Church, on be­half of the Com­bined Churches of De­niliquin.

The Bi­ble tells us that Mary, the mother of Je­sus, was preg­nant a lit­tle sooner than ex­pected.

Her hus­band-to-be, Joseph, was un­der­stand­ably alarmed by this.

But he was told “do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, be­cause what is con­ceived in her is from the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 1:20). Christ­mas is about God com­ing in hu­man form. It was to this fact that the Nicene Creed made the bold dec­la­ra­tion that Je­sus is “very God of very God, be­got­ten, not made, be­ing of one sub­stance with the Fa­ther”.

The Bi­ble writ­ers speak of Je­sus as ‘‘the ra­di­ance of God's glory and the ex­act rep­re­sen­ta­tion of his be­ing’’ (Heb 1:3).

The apos­tle Paul de­scribes Je­sus as ‘‘the im­age of the in­vis­i­ble God, the first­born over all cre­ation’’ (Col 1:15) and in whom ‘‘all the full­ness of the de­ity lives in bod­ily form’’ (Col 2:9). But equally so, Je­sus was born of Mary. And this means Je­sus was also hu­man. He lived and breathed, he ate and drank, felt both sor­row and hap­pi­ness — just as any other per­son would. Chris­tians are united on this great truth. We may dif­fer on other things such as bap­tism, church gov­er­nance or the re­turn of Je­sus.

But we all agree that Je­sus was both fully God and fully hu­man.

Any­thing less re­moves the very foun­da­tion of the Chris­tian mes­sage. It is this truth that we can cel­e­brate at Christ­mas. We do not merely cel­e­brate a cute lit­tle baby in a manger.

No, in Je­sus, we cel­e­brate God break­ing into hu­man­ity to come to do what no other per­son could do, rec­on­cile you and I with God; giv­ing us true and last­ing peace with him.

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