In a recent sermon we heard the enemies of Jesus put him on trial for being God. He was found guilty and subsequently condemned to die for the sin of blasphemy (claiming to be God). The only problem with that is there cannot be blasphemy if the person really is God. Jesus is God, no doubt about it. That thought of Jesus being on trial leaves room to at least ask, “What if Jesus was only a man?” The sad truth is that there are many, Mormons and other cults, for example, who claim that Jesus is only a man. The problem is that if Jesus was only a man his sacrifice for sin could not have covered the sins of the whole world.
The topic of Christology is an amazingly complex and, at the same time, simple topic. How can it be both? The truths that God sets forth on the pages of Scripture are not difficult to understand. Jesus is God and man in one person. That statement is simple enough. By the power of the Holy Spirit we believe it. When we hold up the jewel of Christology and begin to ask questions, the complexity begins to appear. How can Jesus be omniscient and yet not know when the Last Day will be? How can the eternal God grow and age? How can Jesus have ascended into heaven and at the same time be in every waffer and chalice when the Lord’s Supper is celebrated?
First it is important to note that there is nothing wrong with asking the the question. That is how we learn. Second it is imperative that we go looking in the right place for the answers. Anytime I talk to anyone about Jesus, I can with all confidence tell them to keep reading the Bible. It will never lead you astray.
We talked about, “What if Jesus was only man?” Now consider, “What if Jesus was only God?” Some trying to defend Jesus’ honor have minimized his humanity. There are problems with that too. If Jesus was just God, he could not be the suffering servant that Isaiah prophesied would come. He could not have lived under God’s Law in your place, and he could not have died in your place either.
One of the biggest challenges to understanding Christology is admitting that it doesn’t make sense to our fallen reason. It doesn’t bother me that my God is so great that I don’t completely understand the “how’s” or the “why’s”. How could God take on human flesh? I don’t know. Why would God love a sinner like me? I don’t know that either. By the power of the Spirit I believe it. All that matters is that I take my God at his Word and trust him. Because Jesus, true man and true God, died for me I am forgiven. During Lent we take time to look at the depth of Jesus’ love for us.