by Greg on March 1, 2012
Jesus walked this earth as one-hundred percent God and one-hundred percent man. That is the common and prevailing understanding among mainstream Christian denominations. As this article proceeds to explain why and how these two natures came to exist, and how they functioned in one man as He walked this earth, keep in mind that each of the natures are distinct from the other; never mixing.
His Divine Nature
In the divine plan to meet the perfect demands of God’s Law, the Ten Commandments, and to redeem mankind from the condition and condemnation of sin, it was understood that Jesus would have to come into the world and live in the same kind of flesh nature that all humans are born into. That, of course, would be sinful flesh. Otherwise, by living in the fullness of His Godhood, and sin-free flesh, He would have an unfair advantage over every other human in complying with the Law.
This then required Him to give up all His rights, power, and ranking as God (Phil. 2:7). He would come to earth limited by the physical and mental constraints of humanity.
His Human Nature
Born of a woman and the Holy Spirit, Jesus entered this world as something He inherently was not; meaning He remained God, but was now “made” or clothed with humanity. He “assumed” human form. He was God intrinsically (Divine), “wearing” sinful, human flesh (Psalm 51:5; Isa. 53:6; Hebrews 2:14, 17).
There are some, however, who dispute that Jesus assumed a sinful nature. They say if He did, He Himself would have needed a savior. But it must be understood that His two natures were distinct; not mixing. In human flesh, sin’s temptations confronted Jesus as it does all humans, but He sinned not once (Heb. 4:14). He was surrounded by sin, but His divine self never partook of humanity’s sinful tendencies.
His mind, limited to the scope of humanity, never sinned. That His mind was confined to humanity’s boundaries is demonstrated in Luke 2:40, in which it’s said that the child (Jesus) “grew” in wisdom. So having a mind like humans, and it having been stripped of its godly omniscience, Jesus lived as a human being under the Law.
In and of Himself – His inherent nature, His mind – He committed no sinful act. Therefore His intrinsic nature and His human character was unstained by sin. This made him, truly, the unblemished Lamb of God; needing not a savior for Himself.
As an Example for humanity, He showed that sin can be defeated in the flesh by depending on God. Jesus as a human drew His strength and power from His heavenly Father through the empowering grace of the Holy Spirit (John 5:19, 30, 36).
His Resurrected Nature
On the cross, Jesus – the Bible calls Him the second and last Adam (meaning mankind) – having been made sin, crucified sin in the flesh. This was done in His humanness, which incorporated all humanity; past, present, and future (for more on the in Jesus motif, click here). His death (and therefore humanity’s) satisfied the Law’s requirement that sin’s wages be paid by the second death, which is a forever end to life; to existence.
To reiterate, it was Jesus the human (and corporate humanity’s sinful nature and acts) that was crucified. His divine nature didn’t die because divinity cannot cease. It too was given up, or as Jesus had often foretold, lain down for humanity (John 10:15; 13:37). His divine life, or spirit, was given up, entrusted, to His heavenly Father to give to the fallen human race.
When Jesus was raised from the dead by the Father through the Holy Spirit, it is considered to be a just action. That’s because when He lived, He never once yielded to sin. So Jesus’ human life was returned to His divine life. The two natures are now one, as a new race, a new creation; an incorruptible, immortal life that can now be shared by those who believe in Him and repent of their evil thoughts and wicked ways.