Who is Christ?
The Lord Jesus Christ is not simply a man who thinks that He is God, for He is God manifest in the flesh, as St. Paul the Apostle says: "Great is the mystery of godliness" (1 Tim. 3: 16).
God is a simple spirit Who fills heaven and earth and Whom we cannot see with out eyes because they are material and limited. That is why He had to take a tangible body free from sin so that we could see Him. This is just like the waves that are sent via radio and ffb television which are diffused everywhere but are invisible. We can only see them if they are "embodiedí in a voice or image. The same is true of the electrical current which is present in the electrical outlet but which is only visible when it is connected to a lamp, and if we are foolhardy enough to touch it, we feel a tremor through our bodies which could kill us without our even seeing it.
Incarnation, therefore, is necessary for us to see God and does not conflict with:
1. The Power of
On the contrary, the Incarnation is a proof of Godís power for He is omnipotent and can do all things. He can remain a simple spirit or be visibly manifest as man, fire, or a voice.
2. The Holiness of
The incarnation does not conflict with the holiness of God as some people imagine. God can dwell as a body, for He dwells everywhere and in everything, no matter how simple, or even no matter how impure. He is like a purifying sun that pervades piles of rubbish to purify them without Himself being contaminated by them.
3. The Love of God
If God were not love, He would have been satisfied to remain high in the tower of heaven, leaving us in the mire of the earth. But thanks be to the loving God who descended to us to carry us in His arms and rise with us to heaven so that we live with Him there for ever. Was it possible for Him to look down on us and say: "Come to Me, I am waiting for you in heaven"? How were we to ascend to Him with our weak and fallen natures? That is why He condescended to come to us to carry us in His arms and to take us where He is. This is the only logical and possible way. "I carried you on the wings of the eagle and brought you to Me."
Some Comparisons of the Incarnation by St. Athanasius:
1. Comparison to a
If we imagine a king choosing a city in a kingdom to live in, this city will become the capital and will have special honor. The residence of the king in one of the houses is the same as his residence in all the houses. If we assume that the citizens of this city neglected its defense and security, and that the enemies surmounted the walls and attacked the citizens, will the king allow this saying: "They are responsible"? Or will he rise to save them and to defend the kingdom, considering that any harm that befalls one of them befalls him personally?
This is exactly
what happened in the Incarnation. When God dwelt in the womb of the
Virgin Mary, He accepted to live in all men. This is natural because God
is omnipresent and is limited by nothing.
Although the sons of men neglected the defense of their human nature and allowed Satan to overcome it, this did not make God abandon us, but on the contrary, He arose to our defense and came to save us.
2. Comparison to
Let us visualize a father who has an only son and that this son is to go on a long journey. The father calls an artist and asks him to paint a beautiful picture of his son so that he can see him in it during his absence. This happened but after a while, things fell on this picture that spoilt it completely. What will the father do since the son has actually gone? He calls the artist and a ffb sks him to restore the picture, but the artist asks that the son come back so that he can repaint the picture. When the son returned, the artist wanted to tear up the distorted image and to paint a new one, but the father strongly objected to this saying: "Restore the old picture and do not tear it up because in it I see the image of my beloved son every day." And that is how the gifted artist repainted the picture on the same old canvas.
What does this mean?
God created us in His own image but when we distorted that image, He came down Himself and restored it to its original condition without destroying humanity and creating a new humanity. How great is the wisdom and love of God for us!!
3. Comparison to a
Straw and Asbestos
St. Athanasius compared human nature to a straw that can be burnt because of "sin and condemnation". However, if we envelop this straw in asbestos, which is not inflammable, we can preserve this straw from fire. In the same way, when man "puts on the Lord Jesus", He protects us from the fire of condemnation and everlasting perdition, and God preserves him for a happy eternity with Him.
An Important Question:
Was the Lord Jesus able during His life on earth to prove that He is truly God? Of course He did. He did many works that are impossible for an ordinary human, or even a prophet, to do. They had to be done by God. Some examples of these works are:
The Lord Jesus Christ proved His absolute holiness that nobody could deny. It is He Who said: "Which of you can accuse me of sin?" Mouths were stopped and tongues tied because of His great and amazing holiness. Everybody believes this for He is the only one who was not touched by Satan for the simple reason that He is not an ordinary human. He is God manifest in man.
The Lord had absolute authority over all creatures and living things, and even over thoughts, the future, and sin.
Authority over matter:
The feeding of the multitudes (Mt. 14: 13-21).
b. Authority over plants:
He cursed the fig tree (Mt. 21: 18-22).
c. Authority over animals:
The pigs (Mk. 5: 1-20), and catching fish (Lk. 5: 1-11).
d. Authority over man:
In illness (innumerable miracles). In death: the raising of Jariusí daughter (Mk. 5: 35-43), and of the son of the widow of Nain (Lk. 7: 11-17), and of Lazarus (Jn. 11: 1-44). Then there was His raising of Himself from death (Jn. 20, 21).
e. Authority of spirits:
He cast out spirits with one word (Mk. 5: 1-20), (Mk. 9: 25).
f. Authority over sin:
He forgave the sins of the paralytic (Mk. 2: 6-8).
g. Authority over thoughts:
He knew the thoughts of men without their saying anything (Mk. 8: 16,17), (Mk. 2: 6-8).
h. Authority over the future:
He prophesied about the destruction of Jerusalem (Mt. 24: 1-51), about Peterís denial (Mt. 26: 34), and about His death (Jn. 21: 18,19).
3. His Marvelous
The Lord Jesus was able to discern hearts with surpassing gentleness, and thus Christianity spread quickly all over the known world by means of a group of simple men and fishermen filled with the Holy Spirit.
One session alone with the Lord Jesus Christ is enough to shake the fortress of evil in man and to make him repent. And through constant fellowship, the sinner can change into a saint. Who can bring this about unless he is God, Who created man in the first place and Who alone is able to change him?
Come therefore, my young friend, let us get to know this Wonderful Savior, this Mighty God, this Loving Father, for "Nor is there salvation in any other." (Acts 4: 12).
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