[forthright] When God Became a Man

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From: Forthright Magazine <ba@...>
Date: Tue, 20 Jul 2004 14:30:31 -0500
Forthright Magazine
http://www.forthright.net
Straight to the Cross


COLUMN: Square One

When God Became a Man
by Richard Mansel

Humans are indeed weak and sinful. Every day news
outlets carry reports enumerating the troubling
evidence. We handle this onslaught by becoming
progressively desensitized and cynical.
Additionally, we are bombarded with increasing
volumes of temptations as a result of technology
and mobility. Satan never naps and we are always
being seduced (1 Peter 5:8).

Consequently, we wonder how Jesus could come to
this wicked earth and become one of us. It seems
more than we can conceive. John 1:1-3 tells us "In
the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with
God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning
with God. All things were made through Him, and
without Him nothing was made that was made"
(NKJV).

In John 1:14 John tells us that the "Word became
flesh and dwelt among us." This is as profound a
thought as any ever delivered to man. Jesus is God
and simultaneously the son.

C. S.  Lewis wrote, "Lying at your feet is your
dog. Imagine, for the moment, that your dog and
every dog is in deep distress. Some of us love
dogs very much. If it would help all the dogs in
the world to become like men, would you be willing
to become a dog? Would you put down your human
nature, leave your loved ones, your job, hobbies,
your art and literature and music, and choose
instead of the intimate communion with your
beloved, the poor substitute of looking into the
beloved's face and wagging your tail, unable to
smile or speak? Christ by becoming man limited the
thing which to Him was the most precious thing in
the world; his unhampered, unhindered communion
with the Father."

We notice that the word did not enter or fill a
man but "became flesh" in the form of Jesus. He
came to participate with us in human nature to
learn how we think and live. This is not to
measure an historic event but to show his eternal
nature. His presence here was but a spot on the
time line of his existence.

Primarily he came to die for our sins (John 3:16).
He was the only one who could serve as the
Messiah, being completely acquainted with both God
and man. He understands how we feel and what we
endure daily. "For we do not have a High Priest
who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was
in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin"
(Hebrews 4:15).

Jesus was exactly what mankind needed. Someone has
said that if man's greatest need had been
information, God would have sent us an educator.
If man's greatest need had been technology, he
would have sent us a scientist. If man's greatest
need would have been money, he would have sent us
an economist. If our greatest need had been
pleasure, he would have sent us an entertainer.
But our greatest need was for a Savior, so Jesus
was commissioned to be our salvation.

Our sins have separated us from God, so we need a
Messiah to bring us back to him (Isaiah 59:1,2).
Christ came and died so that could be possible
(Romans 5:6). His cross became a bridge back to
God. Jesus pleads for us to come to him with
humble spirits when he says, "Come to Me, all you
who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you
rest (Matthew 11:28).

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