the 'hypostatic' union - Jesus is fully god and fully man!
There are several paradoxes within Christian orthodoxy, and
them is the claim that Jesus has two natures; that He is 100% God and
100% Man. How is this possible? What is the
this claim in the Bible? Can we, or should we believe this
claim? Does the fact that it appears absurd on the surface
us to the conclusion that Christian Doctrine is in error?
As confusing as the claim is, it is one of the most important within Christian doctrine. Mankind has been searching for God since the beginning of time. But we are finite, while God is infinite. He has spoken to us through Prophets and through Scripture, but in our history mankind has needed more. So God condescended (came down to be with) to become one of us, so we could best relate to Him, and understand Him on our terms (Immanuel = God with us). In order to do this, He retained His Godly nature, present in a Human form. Again, this is the best way that we could understand what and who God is, on human terms.
The Apostle Paul begins his letter to the Romans with a confirmation of this important doctrine:
...[God] promised beforehand through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures regarding His Son, who as to His human nature was a descendant of David, and who through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by His resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord." Romans 1:2-4
Evidence of Jesus' Humanity. Jesus was born, with bone, skin, blood and flesh, of a mother. His body was like ours; He felt hunger and thirst, pain and fatigue. He experienced emotions and temptations, grew into adulthood, and finally died. Without a doubt He was 'the man Jesus Christ' (1 Timothy 2:5).
And the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon Him. Luke 2:40
"'I thirst' [Jesus said]." John 19:28. 'He was hungry'. Matthew 4:2
"'Now is my soul troubled'." John 12:27. Jesus wept. John 11:35
"'Where did this man get this wisdom and these mighty works?' they asked." Matthew 13:54b
Evidence of Jesus' Deity. Jesus was born of a woman, but had no human 'father'. He was 'begotten' of God, as compared to 'made' by God. He paradoxically made fantastic claims of deity, yet submitted Himself to the authorities to be killed. And finally, He was resurrected from the dead, and finally ascended to the heavens.
The angel answered [to Mary], 'The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God'." Luke 1:35
"...[the angel of the Lord said to Joseph] 'do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is form the Holy Spirit'." Matthew 1:20b
"The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth." John 1:14
Most importantly, our redemption required of Jesus to be both God and man. Only God can 'save' us, and Jesus claimed this ability!
There is no other God besides me, a righteous God and a Savior; there is none besides me. Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth." Isaiah 45:22
"He who has seen me has seen the Father." John 14:9
"...He will save His people from their sins." Matthew 1:21b
"He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day." John 5:54
What does this mean for us? Most importantly, we know that God loves us enough to send His son to be with us, teach us His ways, and to reconcile us to Him. While questions such as 'If God is eternal how could Jesus die?' or 'How could Jesus be fully God yet not know the time of His returning?' are difficult to understand, we do know now what it is like for a human to be God-like. Jesus is God, so God is like Jesus. We now have a human model with which to model.
...Christ Jesus, who, though He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men." Philippians 2:6-7
"In Him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell." Colossians 1:19