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Day 3: Christ's Humanity

"And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth." - John 1:14

Text: Hebrews 2:5-18

Why did God become man? Many people, throughout history and even today, have asked this question. Why was it necessary for Christ, the Word of God, to take on our flesh and dwell amongst us? The answer to this question is one of the key concerns of the Epistle to the Hebrews, precisely because it is one of the key questions of early Jewish converts. Though not as familiar as other parts of the New Testament, the letter provides some amazing reasons for why Christ had to become human.


"Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, He himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death He might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery." - Hebrews 2:14-15

Though this might seem like a strange place to start, this is one of the first reasons given for the incarnation. This makes perfect sense, though, as we remember Genesis 3. In that chapter, Satan struck Adam and Eve tempting them to sin, and so his conquest of this world began. He had the power of death, and through the fear of death that ancient serpent enslaved all of humanity. God's first pronouncement in the Curse was against Satan: "I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel" (Genesis 3:15). This is called the Protoevangelion, the first gospel, and in it God declares war against the snake, announces that he will send someone to kill the snake and deliver His people.  We need deliverance as well as pardon.

For us to be delivered, the one to come needed to pay the wages of sin, which is death.  In order to do that, they would actually have to die, and yet also overcome death.  So the coming one needed three qualifications:

  1. He needed to be free from sin, and thus, the need to die for his own sin. (Hebrews 7:26-28)
  2. He needed to be able to die and willing to do so. (Hebrews 2:9)
  3. He needed to have the power to take up his life again. (Acts 2:24)

No natural man can possess all three qualifications, but no one outside the human race could either.  Therefore, God the Son emptied Himself and took on our flesh for our salvation. (Philippians 2:6-7)


"Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people." - Hebrews 2:17

The coming one not only needed to deliver his people. The people would also need to be purified; because, as imposing of a foe we have in Satan, the danger from him pales in comparison to that from the just wrath of a Holy God. Atonement must be made for the sins of the people. The Lord made this abundantly clear in the Old Testament through the sacrificial system. The sins of the people deserved death, and a sacrifice must take place to atone for their sins. But it is obvious that the blood of an animal is not enough of a sacrifice. (Hebrews 10:1-4) Only a human could be an appropriate sacrifice. For this reason also, Jesus had to become a man.


"For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted." - Hebrews 2:18

"For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin." - Hebrews 4:15

Jesus was made like us in every respect, though without sin. Remember, though He was sinless, that did not protect against the effects of sin in His earthly life or on the Cross. He experienced our temptations to a degree greater than any other human can know, because He never gave in to temptation. And that qualifies Him as the One perfectly able to provide comfort and relief in our temptation.

So rejoice! Jesus is ever able and ready to save.  He loves you, and though you might be ashamed of yourself, He will never be ashamed of you.  (Hebrews 2:10-11)