Is it so important that Jesus became a human? This is a question that has been asked within Christendom for centuries as many have struggled with the concept of Jesus being both fully God and fully man. For some, trying to understand this union was too difficult, and it was far easier to simply dismiss the notion that Jesus was human in the first place.
However, the fact that Jesus became human is as equally important as the fact that he was God. For if Christ was not incarnate, having not taken on human flesh, then he would not have been able to rescue humanity from its sins nor, consequently, been able to reconcile humanity with God. Yet, this is exactly what he was called to do. The apostle Paul states “But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons” (Galatians 4:4-5).
Christ came to rescue a humanity which was under indictment by the law of God because of sin. Sin which, having been inherited from one man – our father Adam – marred all with a sinful nature, so that all are guilty of transgressing against God (Roman 5:12). Yet, since sin was brought into this world by a man, it had to be removed by a man and only a perfect man born under the law could perfectly keep and fulfill the law, thereby redeeming us from the guilt. Thus Christ came in the flesh and under the law, in order to fulfill the requirements of the law on our behalf (Matthew 5:17).
This leads us to another reason as to why Jesus had to be fully human. It was necessary for the Saviour to shed His blood for the remission of sins, as Hebrews 9:22b reminds us “without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.” A blood sacrifice, of course, requires a body of flesh and blood. If Christ had solely been a spiritual being—and not fully man—He would not have had any blood to spill, and thus we could not have been truly cleansed from our sins as there would be nothing to satisfy the requirements. However, Jesus Christ, the perfect Lamb of God, sacrificed His human life and shed His human blood to cover the sins of all who would ever believe in Him.
Furthermore, because Christ was fully human, we are reminded that we can relate with Him and He with us. In His humanity, Jesus was subjected to all the same kinds of trials that we face. He was tempted; He was persecuted; He was deprived; He was despised; and He suffered great physical pain. Subsequently, He is able to sympathise with us. As Hebrews 4:15 puts it “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin”. Only a human could sympathise with our weaknesses and temptations, as only a human can experience these things.
Believing that Christ was fully human is a foundation of the Christian faith. The apostle John states in 1 John 4:2-3 and 2 John 7 that to reject this is to reject Christianity in its entirety. Denying the incarnation of Christ is to effectively undermine the ability to Christ to redeem humanity. If Christ was not human, it means he could not really die, and this would mean that that cross is worthless.
Because the Son of God became human, and if we have our faith in Him, we are now redeemed “with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect” (1 Peter 1:19). Jesus became fully man so that we may be fully saved. Now that is something worth celebrating!