A Human Savior
In Galatians 4:4, Paul describes the coming of Christ by saying that he was "born of a woman." Big whoop, we might think. It’s not anything that ground-breaking, is it? I mean, after all, you’re born of a woman, I’m born of a woman, we’re all born of a woman. But we're not just talking about any mere human are we. We’re talking about the Creator of the Universe—the Creator stepping into his own creation. Can you wrap your mind around that? John 1:3, “All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.” All things were made through him, and now He is made, knit in the womb and born of Mary.
Perhaps we have so fantasized and mythologized the life of Christ that we forget this fact. When we think of Jesus we think of halos and clouds and beams of light. No—Christ was a human just like you and me. He had skin, hair, fingernails. His voice changed, he grew out of his clothes, he would get hungry, thirsty. That “just five more minutes” feeling we get in the morning—Jesus knew all of that. People would say, “My, doesn’t he have his mother’s eyes!” (Now they wouldn’t say that about Joseph!). Don’t miss the profundity in those words we love so well, “Veiled in flesh the God-head see, hail the incarnate Deity. Pleased as man with men to dwell: Jesus, our Emmanuel.” Jesus—God with us. Jesus—God as us.
Why did Christ have to become man? Well to pay for our sin of course. A human would have to pay for human sin. Hebrews 2:17, “Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.” When Christ offered himself up as a sacrifice to put away sin, he did it for you. He did it in your place. It was his flesh that was flayed instead of yours. It was his feet, his hands, that were nailed instead of yours. It was His side that was pierced instead of yours.
Perhaps some of you have read, or seen, the popular fantasy series The Hunger Games. The Hunger Games takes place in the dystopian world of Panem. In Panem, every year, a handful of teenagers are chosen at random to compete in the “Hunger Games:” nothing other than a death-match (think gladiator games in the Roman Colosseum). In the first novel, the 12-year-old Primrose Everdeen is selected to compete in the Hunger Games: this means certain death for Primrose. That is, until someone volunteers to take her place—Katniss, her older sister. In fact, she was the only one willing to take the place of poor Primrose—because they were sisters, they had the same blood flowing threw their veins, they shared in the same genes.
Friends, we find ourselves in a very similar situation don't we? Ever since the Fall, the world has become an arena for a morbid game where we are all destined to die…except that our older brother has stepped in and has taken our place. He died that we might live. He took on our flesh to be our substitute. But not only that, he continues to wear that pierced flesh this very minute in Heaven. He is standing before His Father’s throne pleading what He merited in our flesh. “Five bleeding wounds he bears received on Calvary, they pour effectual prayers, they strongly plead for me!” Christ is standing in Heaven, defending your cause because he shares in your flesh.