“If Christ had not been man, he could not have suffered for men, and if he had not been God, his suffering could not have satisfied infinite justice.” (John Owen)
Jesus is fully God and fully man. To be more precise, He is truly God, truly man. We can try to ponder the depths of this doctrine—formally called the Hypostatic Union—and will never find the bottom.
With that said, we can at least understand it to the point where we see the absolute necessity for Him to be truly God and truly man.
Jesus had to be truly human. If He wasn’t, He wouldn’t have been able to repeat us in His life; He wouldn’t have been able, as Owen states above, to “suffer for men.”
Jesus also had to be truly God. If He wasn’t, He wouldn’t have been able to completely satisfy the Father’s wrath. In other words, if He was a mere human, He would’ve had His sins to pay for; His death wouldn’t have appeased the Father’s righteous and holy wrath.
But He was human and divine. And still is. Simultaneously. And He has to be. You see, the gospel falls apart without the God-man. He had to be human to live a perfect life on our behalf, and He had to be God in order to fully satisfy the Father’s wrath, finish His work, and rise victoriously on the third day.
Believer, cherish this precious truth: Jesus is the God-man, who came to save us. Praise God.
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