In the previous two articles of Sharing the Word, we have examined the uniqueness of the only begotten Son, Jesus Christ.  It was by one sacrifice for the sins of mankind that made reconciliation with God a reality.  That sacrifice was His work, not ours, offered to mankind as a grace gift to be accepted solely by faith.  All merit was in the one sacrifice and the one work.  John made the proclamation that “He [God] gave His uniquely born Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish” (John 3:16).  The coming of that One had been prophesied in the Garden, when the pre-incarnate Christ Himself announced that He would crush the serpent’s head (Gen 3:15).  Abraham reiterated that the sacrifice for sin would be provided by God Himself as he spoke with Isaac on Mt. Moriah (Gen 22:8).  All the sacrifices of innocent animals were a visual representation of the One who must come into the world and redeem fallen mankind.  It would require a unique person to satisfy the righteousness of God – One who was both true humanity and true Deity.  God Himself must take on the essence of humanity but yet maintain His divine essence, so that in His humanity, He could bear the sins of fallen man.  The Apostle Paul tells us of this unique plan of redemption … “God presented him [Jesus Christ] as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished—he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus” (Rom 3:24-26 NIV). In writing to the Christians in Philippi, the apostle expounded on the union of God and man in one Person … “although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.  And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Phil 2:6-8). It was on a Roman cross that God the Father placed on the humanity of Christ the sins of the world, yours and mine included, for “while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom 5:8). Note that it is essential to recognize the uniqueness of this One Person for He is both God and man.  As God He cannot die, but as man He can bear the sins of humanity because He is equal to both parties.  Thus, Paul in writing to Timothy states … “For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all men” (1 Tim 2:5-6). During those hours between noon and three in the afternoon … “God [Father] made him [Jesus Christ] who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him [Jesus Christ] we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Cor 5:21). Having borne our sins to the fullest extent, Jesus screamed out “it is finished” and dismissed his spirit.  David ended Psalm 22 with the words … “He has done this” (v 31).  All that remained was for the Father to value the work of the Cross as complete satisfaction of His justice and righteousness.  Would the God-Man remain in the grave or be raised the third day as He had said to His disciples?  History evidences the resurrection -- the tomb is open for all to see. What David had prophesied one thousand years earlier concerning this One Person was now a reality … “Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure, because you will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you let your Holy One see decay” (Ps 16:9-10). The entrance of the God-Man into heaven, this unique Person of all humanity, was most grandiose as the Father said to the Son … "Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet" (Heb 1:13).

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