This Sunday, we continue our Advent series by studying the humanity of Christ. Of course, humanity, by itself is not particularly unusual. We see human beings every day, we live as humans, and we’ve never not been human. To be human is, in one sense, the most normal thing in the world.
Yet, being human is not “normal” for God.
Consider just a few attributes of God — he is infinite, uncontainable in any space. He is omnipotent, meaning there is no force greater than him in the universe. Actually, all that is continually depends on him for its ongoing existence.
He continually holds in being everything that has being. He is omniscient; he’s never learned anything. He knows not only what has been and what will be, but what could have been in the past or future, if he had chosen a different course for history. He sees the vastness of space and the unseeble components inside quarks.
He doesn’t experience darkness because darkness is as light to him.
So, when we say that Christ was truly man, we are saying something far from normal, far beyond our superlative vocabulary. If you take the most extraordinary event you can imagine, and then imagine it as a small speck in the vastness of space, you will have some sense of how galactic, how cosmic the incarnation is.
God the Son became man. He experienced life in the limits of a human body. His cells required food. His lungs required oxygen. His skin registered cold and heat. And feeling these things he, as God the Son, would not alter nature to accommodate his human preference.
His human ears heard the mockery of enemies; his human eyes saw the haughty looks of those who despised him; his human heart felt the grief of watching his parents age and relatives and neighbors grow sick and die. The one who knows the names of all the stars had to learn the alphabet and how to count to three. The one who watches over every harvest had to learn to chew.
And in all of this humanity he was God the Son.
The person who experienced all of these human realities was the second Person of the Trinity. He felt limited, weak, tired, ignorant, abused, disregarded, shamed, forgotten. God the Son became man — an existence which is normal for us but abnormally, astonishingly, shockingly humbling and condescending for him. He did not just imagine manhood or know about manhood the way we know about the life of an ant or a fish.
He took on.
He added to himself the reality of humanity. And being man, he never lays aside his human nature forever. He remains the God-man, God the Son, the mediator, the Savior, the Son of David, the Lord of Lords, sitting as God the Son, the God-man, on the throne of his Father.