Christ's human nature and his voluntary non-use of certain divine attributes allowed him to experience all the indignities of imperfect human existence and all the trials and tribulations we face. As my pastor, Ron Watts, observed in his sermon on Sunday, Christ, who was "made like his brothers in every respect," shared our experiences so that he could fully relate to us and us to him. Just as we bond with our fellow human beings who have shared our particular experiences, we can bond with Christ, because he has shared our experiences. As Pastor Watts poignantly noted, he even knows what it's like to be denied a prayer request: "Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me." (Luke 22:42)
Although Jesus allowed the temporary restriction of his divine attributes, he did not compromise the essence of His deity in any respect. He was fully human and fully divine, and this perfect union is what made possible God's flawless method for our salvation. Indeed, Christ's perfect harmony with the Father can be seen in his very next words following his request that the cup be taken from him: "Yet not my will, but yours be done."
Though having existed in absolute bliss with the Father and Holy Spirit in eternity past, Christ condescended to human form and ultimately experienced separation from the Father, who cannot look on sin. This separation was possible only because God is Triune. The separation was not just in a judicial sense; it was real -- physically and spiritually.
Christ's humanity subjected him to real temptation and real agony. His divine nature empowered him to resist all such temptation and live a sinless life and conquer death for us -- gloriously defeating death through death.
His suffering and redemptive death were not just some abstract satisfaction of a divine mathematical equation. He had to experience the full force of God's actual wrath for all the past, present and future sins of mankind. "He died forsaken by God," says the Bible Knowledge Commentary, "so that his people might claim God as their God and never be forsaken."
As Christian writer John Stott said, "The God Who allows us to suffer, once suffered himself in Christ, and continues to suffer with us and for us today."
As we ponder the wonders of Christ and marvel at his deity, we must understand that when he walked this earth he was also as fully human as we are, and that his humanity opens the door to our personal relationship with him.
It is this personal relationship with him that is the heart of Christianity.
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