Why did God become human?

Why did God become human?

Many religions have great prophets, many have important human figures. If you look back to Greek or Roman mythology, the idea of gods coming to earth to be among the people was common in many stories. But Christianity is unique in its claim that God became a man and lived on earth as a human being. We call this ‘incarnation’. It literally means deity putting on flesh; humanity. So why does it matter? Why did God himself have to become like one of his creations? To enter into real human life; messy, hard, and painful? When it comes to the mysteries of God, it’s an exciting adventure to explore and try to understand them. Even if it is difficult to grasp that God would choose to become human, it is still good to try. There are entire books written about this topic, but we have simmered it down to simplify, there are two main reasons.

Reason one: God became human to save us.

1. God who became man is nothing less than part of God’s original plan: Based on what we read in the bible, Jesus is not plan B. The son of God becoming man was the plan all along, even before God created the world. From the moment when Adam and Eve chose their own way and sinned, God told them that he would send a saviour to make everything right again. God spoke the very first prophecy regarding Jesus right there in the garden of Eden. (Gen 3:15)
2. Because this saviour should be without sin, He was born from a virgin : Sin came into the world through Adam, so human beings are born into sin, or as we call it, the fallen nature; every single one of us. Except Jesus, that is. This is why he was born through the Spirit of God to Mary, who was still a virgin. So Jesus could be born sinless and live a sinless life.
3. Only a human being can pay the price: Jesus had to be a human, because the justice of God requires that the same human nature which broke his law, should pay the penalty for the crime. He had to be God and therefore completely sinless because if someone is sinful themselves, they cannot pay the price for others.

Reason two: God became human to be known by us.

1. God becoming human is God coming near: Jesus is able to sympathize with us in our weakness and temptation. Isn’t it wonderful to know that Jesus experienced every human emotion and all temptation known to humankind. So we never have to hide from him in shame. Or feel alone in our struggles.
2. We can get to know God: Through Jesus, the invisible God becomes real, tangible, touchable. If someone is searching to know what God is like, Jesus said “Look at me! If you’ve seen me you’ve seen my Father (God)”. (John 14:9) God wants us to know Him!
3. Redeeming Physicality: There was a common belief in Jesus’ time that the spiritual is good and pure and the physical is tainted and bad. This idea has been seen throughout history and is even still embraced by some. But when Jesus was born into a human body he showed that the body is good. Having a physical body is a part of God’s good and original design. Our bodies should be cared for, not despised. Jesus coming to earth demonstrates that the whole physical world is good! Even though its current state is broken, it will all be made right by Jesus one day soon.
4. Elevating the lowly: Often, we look down on poor, underprivileged people, don’t we? We are drawn to power, beauty, fame and charisma. But we see Jesus growing up without wealth, in an unglamorous part of the world, without any status. Jesus constantly elevated the poor and taught that in His kingdom things are reversed. The poor are rich, the humble are exalted, the last will be first and the least is the greatest!

It is absolutely essential to understand that while Jesus, being God’s son, was born a human being, he is still God. He never stopped being God. It’s core to the Christian faith that Jesus was fully God and fully human at the same time. Neither his deity or his humanity was diminished in any way. This is a profound and beautiful mystery.

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