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Who is God (Part 2) - Why did He become Man

Why did God become man, in the form of Jesus?

 

16And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness:
God was manifested in the flesh,
Justified in the Spirit,
Seen by angels,
Preached among the Gentiles,
Believed on in the world,
Received up in glory.

1 Timothy 3:16 (NKJV)

Introduction

We note four things:

1.     There is a God. He is the Lord God Jehovah, the "Lord God Saves". If you are a Jew, His name is I Am. If you are not a Jew, "He is the God who made the world and everything in it": He is the Lord of heaven and earth.

"Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD [is] one! Deuteronomy 6:4

2.     And God is Holy:

3And Moses said to Aaron, "This is what the Lord spoke, saying:
'By those who come near Me
I must be regarded as holy;
And before all the people
I must be glorified.'" Leviticus 10:3 (NKJV)

3.     And Man sinned: Everyone has sinned, even the most holy pious person.

4.     And the punishment for sin is death: The wages of sin is death.

Hence we have a problem: All of humanity was destined for death. There was nothing good in anyone. The hardest thing for any person to accept is that there is no good whatsoever in him or her - there is not one ounce of goodness. That is, if we compare ourselves with God, His glory would so overwhelm us that we would die looking at Him.

The Psalmist put it eloquently:

They have all turned aside,
They have together become corrupt;
There is none who does good,
No, not one. Psalm 14:3 (NKJV)

The Old Testament clearly shows the principle of the acceptable method to deal with sin.

Sin cannot be glossed over.

Once you have sinned you have been stained for ever: stained by corrupt flesh as Jude put it. Hence, sin must be dealt with; both intentional sin and un-intentional sin. Sin is dealt with by the shedding of blood.

And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission. Hebrews 9:22 (NKJV)

Therefore, Man required a sacrifice that could be the substitute for himself. This was Jesus Christ, God in the flesh.

If God became flesh, there are some very special characteristics about Him. We are not left in the dark concerning his nature and character: in the Old Testament there are at least two, if not three characters that are types of Christ: these are shadows of what and who the Messiah actually was, but nevertheless gives us evidence of the character of the person of Jesus.

Thence, one can ask, who is Jesus, whom I never knew?

The Nature of Incarnation

God came in the flesh: Paul could tell Timothy:

God was manifested in the flesh (KJV) or He appeared in a body, (NIV)

This is not the first time God had come in the flesh.

The Angel Of God

Six times in Scripture "The Angel of God" (KJV) is mentioned and 58 times as "The Angel of the Lord" - more properly The Angel of Jehovah.

1.     Genesis 2117 He calls from heaven to Hagar who is distressed at being despised by Abraham's household.2

2.     Genesis 3111 Jacob was spoken to in a dream during his stressful time working for Laban, his father-in-law.

3.     Exodus 1419 Walked with the camp of Israel, walking behind to protected them from the Egyptians

4.     Judges 620 Was a man, talked to Gideon, who when he realized it was God thought he was to die, but was told no! he call the place this happened "The-Lord-Is-Peace" or "Jehovah-shalom"

5.     Judges 136 A Man of God, whose countenance was like the countenance of the Angel of God - visited the mother of Samson.

The characteristics of the Angel of God is found in 2 Sam 1417,20, 2 Sam 1927:

Comforting

Able to discern good from evil

All wise

All powerful

Note the emphatic, definite article "The": "Ha Malak Elohiym". There is only one Angel of God, it is God himself - Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

These cases are not any angel but the manifestation of the Lord himself.

God walked with man

Noting also that the Lord worked and talked with Adam in the garden of Eden, prior to the fall:

He walked }

He talked }hence must have had a body like us.

God wrestled with Man

Jacob wrestle with God - The Angle of the Lord

Then the man said, "Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with men and have overcome." Genesis 32:28 (NIV)

Joseph as a type of Christ (Gen 37, 39..)

Joseph is a type Christ: he brings to our attention Christ's suffering and glory.

Joseph is unlike any other character that has gone before him. He was oppressed, bound and downtrodden, yet conquers by passive power, and is exalted - a good time later - over all things. He walks entirely by faith, happy to forgo a season of pleasure and forebear the brunt of Pharaohs wrath, in a journey he had no idea of the ending - but each step was taken in faith.

They hated Joseph because his father loved him more than all his sons. His brothers despised him and even his mother and father were sore displeased to learn they themselves would need to bow down to him. He was sold to the Egyptians, who received him and eventually exalted him, but not before imprisoning and humiliating him.

Jesus was also mocked and scorned by his own brethren: we can say Israel's Sons mocked the Heir - however Egypt, which depicts the world, received him.

6 But I am a worm and not a man,
scorned by men and despised by the people.
7 All who see me mock me;
they hurl insults, shaking their heads: Psalm 22:6 through Psalm 22:7 (NIV)

They hated me without a cause. John 15:25

The world.it hates Me because I testify of it that its works are evil. John 7:7 (NKJV)

Israel still has not accepted their Heir, but the gentiles have. Jews believe Jesus is dead, crucified on the cross.

Joseph's brethren believed he was dead, yet he was in Egypt working quietly and efficiently:

He came to his own, and toiled hard with them, but they rejected him. He sought out the lost to save them but Israel rejected him. Instead they answered:

'We will not have this man to reign over us.' Luke 19:14 (NKJV)

"We have no king but Caesar!" John 19:15 (NKJV)

Josephs brothers had similar recourse. Twice they were told he would reign over them and thence they attempted to rid him from them. They took Joseph and put him in a pit and stripped him and sold him for silver and sat down to eat. Jesus suffered the same consequence. The prophets, not twice but many times, stated that the Messiah would rule over them:

13 For the Lord has chosen Zion;
He has desired it for His dwelling place:
14 "This is My resting place forever;
Here I will dwell, for I have desired it. Psalm 132:13 -14 (NKJV)

3"Thus says the Lord:
'I will return to Zion,
And dwell in the midst of Jerusalem.
Jerusalem shall be called the City of Truth,
The Mountain of the Lord of hosts,
The Holy Mountain.' Zechariah 8:3 (NKJV)

Note that Jesus was literally taken down to Egypt as well, to be taken up again. Joseph enters Egypt a slave. Jesus enters Egypt a bond servant. Who sent Joseph? God.

So God sent me [Joseph] before you to preserve you a remnant in the earth, and to save you alive by a great deliverance. Genesis 45:7 (DNT)

This of course pertains actually to the Messiah - He will preserve for Himself a remnant in this earth, delivered by a great deliverance - how much greater could deliverance be, than in the form of the death of the Son.

God.who delivered us from so great a death, and does deliver us; in whom we trust that He will still deliver us, 2 Corinthians 1:10 (NKJV)

As Satan attempted to corrupt the life of Jesus, through temptations: so did Potiphar's wife tempt Joseph. Note the type here is not Egypt, but the nature of the temptation, which attempts to satisfies the flesh, but clearly cannot satisfy the soul - Joseph rejects it (Later Joseph marries an Egyptian i.e. gentile who bears good fruit).

The Spirit of Christ was a patient sufferer in this world: he suffered, served, was blessed and made a blessing. This world is full of vain love and seductions yet cannot bring the Messiah down to its level. He was slandered and falsely accused, but faithfulness is not without reward.

Joseph is thrown into prison and meets other men - the faithful man of God meets desperate men. Joseph interprets their dreams, makes them understand what the Lord is saying. Joseph in an Egyptian prison is Christ came into the World, to two peoples: Jew and Gentile. The Gentile freed forgets the freer. At this stage Joseph does not rule them, yet the scourges of a famine will change this.

Christ is risen, but many forget they can have Christ as their ruler now - the obeisance to worldly rule will not satisfy like servitude to the King of Kings.

Christ as Joseph did, suffered all sorts of injustices - from the injustice of being rejected by his own brethren to the injustice of being forgotten by the butler. Yet every step of his journey he had absolute trust in God.

The fullness of the type has not been played out yet. Egypt does not recognise as whole it needs the Messiah, but individuals in desperation realise they will die without a saviour. The exalted Joseph is able to save, but his brethren need to come to him.

Moses as a type of Christ (mentioned more than 801 x in the Bible)

Moses is a type of Christ, revealing more of the characteristics of the Messiah.

Lowly

Now the man Moses was very humble [meek or lowly JND], more than all men who were on the face of the earth. Numbers 12:3 (NKJV)

What of Christ:

"Tell the daughter of Zion,
'Behold, your King is coming to you,
Lowly, and sitting on a donkey,
A colt, the foal of a donkey.'" Matthew 21:5 (NKJV)

It was no exalted position to ride into Jerusalem on a donkey and in a few hours they turned upon him with false accusations and slanderous words. Christ came to save, not to condemn. He came as the saviour not the judge. He came lowly because He loved us.

A servant of God

Of Moses we learn:

Moses, the servant of God, Rev15:3

Jesus states:

  1. I can of Myself do nothing. .. I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me. John 5:30 (NKJV)
  2. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many." Mark 10:45 (NKJV)

Paul writes:

Now I say that Jesus Christ has become a servant to the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made to the fathers, Romans 15:8 (NKJV)

Christ more then a mere man, grown up, who was sacrificed on the cross, was with God, and indeed was God. We learn from Philippians 27 that he emptied himself or made Himself of no reputation.

  • made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. (NIV)
  • emptied himself, taking a bondman's form, taking his place in [the] likeness of men; (DNT)
  • made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. (NKJV)

Moses left riches to become poor

Moses, drawn up out of the water (hence "Moshe") brought up in the house of Pharaoh, educated in all matters of Egypt and was called the son of a princes - learnt all the wisdom of Egypt, could have inherited the riches of the house, yet he "went out to his brethren and look on their burden" (Ex 2:11).

By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh's daughter. 25He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time. Hebrews 11:24-25 (NIV)

This is what Christ did - looking upon the scourges of man, he left glory to become sin for our sake.

Appointed to save the people

Moses was sent to save Gods people

8When Jacob had gone into Egypt, and your fathers cried out to the Lord, then the Lord sent Moses and Aaron, who brought your fathers out of Egypt and made them dwell in this place. 1 Samuel 12:8 (NKJV)

Man proved beyond all doubt that he could not save himself. For nearly 1200 years the Jews had the law, which if implemented perfectly would have saved them and given them a prosperous life:

8So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey Exodus 3:8 (NIV)

Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine. 6And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.' These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel." Exodus 19:6 (NKJV)

Jesus was appointed to save the people:

11For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:11 (NKJV)

Moses as a type of Christ

Moses tries to save his people, but they reject him (Exodus 2:11) - he goes into the wilderness. He returns 40 years latter. Jesus came unto His own and they rejected Him. Jesus will return at the Last Days.

Moses is the gentle bride like Christ - more humble than any man.

He goes into the wilderness and is accepted by non-Jews - the Midianites (Exodus 2:15) where he marries.

Christ's marriage feast will have gentiles at it, the bride will not be Israel but the Church (Matt 22), presented holy and without spot or wrinkle (Eph 5:27), consisting of those who are one in Christ.

(It is interesting to note that Moses went into the wilderness and the Midianites accepted him as an Egyptian. Jews look upon Jesus as a non-Jew and many Christians do the same.)

Moses - intercedes for his people

Moses interceded for his people, when they foolishly followed their leaders and worshiped a golden calf on the sides of Mt Sinai - Exodus 3111. God listened!

In Christ we have a more excellent interceder, because Moses could not deal with the sin of the conscious (see Hebrews 99), but Christ was able to offer one (perfect) sacrifice and forever sit down - Moses laboured day after day, year after year.

Jesus

Is the Son of God

Is God who came in flesh - note we will know He came because He still bares the marks of the Cross (See The Revelation)

Came to save us from our sins

Redeemed us from the curse of the law, which we could never keep

Has died for our sin, and hence if will allow him to bear our punishment we are saved.

Is acting as our mediator between us and God, if we accept him as our mediator

Jesus Died for Our Sins

Salvation is only in Jesus

12Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved." Acts 4:12 (NKJV)

There is need of salvation

Satan's biggest lie, these days, is the notion that there is no here-after: that at death we are return all to dust. Yet we all have souls - the very nature of each one us resides in the soul. Your soul is either lost to an eternity separated from God, or saved:

50.. cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth." Matthew 13:50 (NKJV)

But there is a hope in Christ Jesus. No-one need fall into the clutches of hell. Hell was built for Satan and his angels, not humans, yet will be used for those humans who reject Jesus Christ.

Submit: if you rule your life you have no hope, because a ruler of his own life must provide the means to deal with sin, and the wages of sin is death.

Accept Christ.

Let Christ rule your life - because as rule he provides, through his own suffering, the passage to salvation.

9For to this end Christ died and rose and lived again, that He might be Lord of [rule over] both the dead and the living. Romans 14:9 (NKJV)

What must I do to be saved

So they said, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household." Acts 16:31 (NKJV)

If you are saved

5and He [Christ] died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again. 2 Corinthians 5:15 (NKJV)

 

David Simon
December 2004
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