Why Did God Become Human?

One of the most foundational and wondrous confessions of the Christian Faith is: in birth of Jesus, God became a human being. The birth of Jesus is the incarnation of God.  God became flesh through the womb of Mary. This lies at the heart of Christianity, and it is the story of God’s humility and love.

So, why did God become human?

God became one of us to participate in the material creation as a creature, and through this participation affirmed creation, redeemed it, and sanctified it. Becoming flesh, living in his own skin, and being raised in a glorified human body testify to God’s goal for the creation itself. The incarnation of God and the resurrection of Jesus attests to God’s love for the creation and the divine intent to make all things new, including the earth.

God became one of us in order to unite God and humanity. Human beings were created in the image of God, and therefore there is an embedded similarity between God and humanity. While the union brings together the infinite and the finite, human was created to be like God and share in the communion of the Triune God. The incarnation is the actual union of God and humanity in the person of the Son, and through that union, God and humanity share life together in a wondrous intimacy.

God became one of us in order to reveal God to us. The life of Jesus tells the story of how God would act as a human being. In Jesus we see who God is, how God behaves, and how God relates to people. We see God when we see Jesus. In this sense, Jesus is the truth, God in the flesh. We know our God because we know Jesus.

He became one of us in order to experience and empathize with our suffering. God in himself does not know what it is like to be thirsty, hungry, or to experience physical pain and temptation. God in Jesus, however, experienced all of these human frailties. In this way, God becomes empathetic through Jesus. God in Jesus shares our pain and temptations, sits on the mourner’s bench with us, and dies with us. God fully knows us–not just cognitively but also existentially and experientially.

God became one of us in order to redeem us through the sacrifice of God’s own life in Jesus. As the God-Human, Jesus is the mediator between God and Humanity. God became human so that as a human being God might suffer death as an act of divine self-substitution. God, as human, experienced the wounds and stripes of our sin. In this way, Jesus, as God in the flesh, engaged the powers of evil and defeated them through his obedience.  

The incarnation is not simply a necessary condition for the cross. It is much more. Through the incarnation, God becomes part of the creation, unites God and humanity in the person of Jesus, reveals God’s identity, empathizes with our suffering, and redeems us through cross. God in the flesh is the heart of Christianity, and without it, there is no Christianity but simply another prophetic movement in a long line of other religious agendas throughout history. God in the flesh means God loves us, empathizes with us, and redeems us as a fellow human being and fellow-suffering. That is why we confess, Jesus is God.

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