In Christ were united the human and the divine. His mission was to reconcile God and man, to unite the finite with the infinite. This was the only way in which fallen men could be exalted through the merits of the blood of Christ to be partakers of the divine nature. Taking human nature fitted Christ to understand man's trials and sorrows, and all the temptations wherewith he is beset. Angels who were unacquainted with sin could not share or understand the feelings of man in his peculiar trials. Christ condescended to take man's nature and was tempted in all points like as we, that He might know how to succour all who should be tempted.
As the human was upon Him, He felt His need of strength from His Father. He had select places of prayer. He loved to hold communion with His Father in the solitude of the mountain. In this exercise His holy, human soul was strengthened for the duties and trials of the day. Our Saviour identifies Himself with our needs and weaknesses, in that He became a suppliant, a nightly petitioner, seeking from His Father fresh supplies of strength, to come forth invigorated and refreshed, braced for duty and trial. He is our example in all things. He is a brother in our infirmities, but not in possessing like passions. As the sinless One, His nature recoiled from evil. He endured struggles and torture of soul in a world of sin. His humanity made prayer a necessity and privilege. He required all the stronger divine support and comfort which His Father was ready to impart to Him, to Him who had, for the benefit of man, left the joys of heaven and chosen His home in a cold and thankless world. Christ found comfort and joy in communion with His Father. Here He could unburden His heart of the sorrows that were crushing Him. He was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.
"For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:" 1 Peter 2:21, 22.
"For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;" Romans 3:23.
"For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin." Hebrews 4:15.
"Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;" Hebrews 2:14.
"Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people." Hebrews 2:17.
Note: In His humanity Christ partook of our sinful, fallen nature. If not, then He was not "made like unto His brethren," was not "in all points tempted like as we are," did not overcome as we have to overcome, and is not, therefore, the complete and perfect Saviour man needs and must have to be saved. The idea that Christ was born of an immaculate or sinless mother, inherited to tendencies to sin, and for this reason did not sin, removes Him from the realm of a fallen world, and from the very place where help is needed. On His human side, Christ inherited just what every child of Adam inherits, - a sinful nature. On the divine side, from His very conception He was begotten and born of the Spirit. And all this was done to place mankind on vantage ground, and to demonstrate that in the same way every one who is "born of the Spirit" may gain like victories over sin in his own sinful flesh. Thus each one is to overcome as Christ overcame. Revelation 3:21. Without this birth there can be no victory over temptation, and no salvation from sin. John 3:3-7.
"For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:" Romans 8:3.
Note: God, in Christ, condemned sin, not by pronouncing against it merely as a judge sitting on the judgement seat, but by coming and living in the flesh, in sinful flesh, and yet without sinning. In Christ, He demonstrated that is possible, by His grace and power, to resist temptation, overcome sin, and live a sinless life in sinful flesh.
"I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me." John 5:30.
"Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works." John 14:10.
Note: In His humanity Christ was as dependent upon divine power to do the works of God as is any man to do the same thing. He employed no means to live a holy life that are not available to every human being. Through Him, every one may have God dwelling in him and working in him "to will and to do of His good pleasure." 1 John 4:15; Philippians 2:13.
"For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me." John 6:38.
"For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:" 1 Peter 2:21.
"Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:" Philippians 2:5.
Note: The mind of Christ was characterised by humility (verse 6-8); dependence upon God (John 5:19, 30); a determination to do only the Father's will (John 5:30; 6:38); thoughtfulness of others (Acts 10:38), and a willingness to sacrifice and suffer, and ever die for the good of others (2 Corinthians 8:9; Romans 5:6-8; 1 Peter 2:24).
"And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart." Luke 2:51.
"And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man." Luke 2:52.
"And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God." Luke 6:12.
"And it came to pass about an eight days after these sayings, he took Peter and John and James, and went up into a mountain to pray." Luke 9:28.
"How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him." Acts 10:38.
"Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:" 1 Peter 2:23.
"Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots." Luke 23:34.
"Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows." Hebrews 1:9.
Commitment:- I believe Jesus Christ to be my sinless example, and wish to follow His example.
© S. D. Goeldner, November, 2011. Last updated July, 2019.
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