Over the last two weeks we saw that it was necessary for Jesus to be human in order that we could have the human obedience credited to our account and so that he could die the human death required for our sin. Yet these are not the only reasons Jesus came as a human. This week I want to look at how Jesus became human to set a pattern for us humans to follow.
As sinful humans we do not know what God requires of us because we are blinded by our sin. We needed God to condescend toward us and reveal how we are supposed to behave. One of the best ways that he did this was to become the human Jesus Christ. When we look at Christ we see a human behaving the way a human should and are encouraged to copy him. If we become Christ-like we know we are doing what God approves.
Several parts of God’s word speak about this. For example: ‘Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did’ (1 John 2:6). This text tells us that being Christ-like is not optional for Christians. If we are not living like Christ we cannot claim to live in him. Also Paul describes in 2 Corinthians what should be happening to all Christians: ‘And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit (2 Corinthians 3:18). We are being changed into his likeness. Moreover, following Christ’s example is not just about being obedient to God’s law, but also includes suffering for God: ‘But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps’ (1 Peter 2:20-21).
It should also be noted that this growing more and more Christlike culminates in judgement day when we become like him: ‘Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure’ (1 John 3:2-3). One day we will be made Christ-like for eternity.
Therefore we can see that one of the reasons Jesus humbled himself and came as a human was to show us the way to live. If we wish to be his we need to be Christ-like. Are you?