Question 22: Why must the Redeemer be truly human?

That in human nature he might on our behalf perfectly obey the whole law and suffer the punishment for human sin; and also that he might sympathize with our weaknesses.

 

What does it mean to be “truly human?” What do you think of when you hear “humanity”?  Some may think of present humanity’s flaws, our weaknesses.  “How could I resist? I’m only human,” is an excuse often rendered.  I know I think of my flaws, my pride, and my mistakes.  Even when I think of human nature as a whole, I sometimes think of the hurt, the selfishness, and the evil.  But Jesus became fully human and showed us what humanity was supposed to be. He was the perfect version of humanity. 
 
Jesus in his humanity also knows every weakness we have- the tiredness, the hunger, the emotional struggles.  And yet, he remained perfect.  He didn’t give in to the weaknesses of humanity. It would have been easy for Christ to have stayed perfect at the right hand of the Father and only been fully God. But he didn’t – he came to Earth. 
Jesus had to be fully human, in order to be the appropriate substitute for us on the cross.  This question brings to mind Philippians 2:3-8: “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. 5In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
6Who, being in very naturea God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
7rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very natureb of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
 
We can’t be the perfect human that Jesus was, but our humanity can’t be our excuse. Because our Redeemer was truly human AND truly God, his Spirit lives inside of us as believers.  And that’s the point - we need his Spirit in us to live like he did and to love like he did.  We know we won’t be perfect which is our necessity for a Savior in the first place.  But by his grace we can strive to become more and more like Him. 
 
Stephanie Browning
Elementary Children’s Director