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The Two Natures of Christ

This series offers an overview of the chief teachings of the Christian church.

DNA testing has become popular as curiosity about ancestry leads people to investigate family roots. Is my family lineage limited to one continent? Are my ancestors from one country or are they German with a bit of British and splash of Scandinavian?

The test report provides a percentage for each part that makes up the ancestral whole. When all the percentages are totaled, the sum is one hundred—the whole “you.”

The report on Jesus is 100% God + 100% Man = 1 unique Savior. In “Divine Math,” the sum of two 100% ancestries is still 100%—one person. How this can be true defies human logic and testifies to the uniqueness of our Savior.

Even unbelievers acknowledge that a man, Jesus of Nazareth, existed. The accounts of His life and ministry show that He was born, ate, drank, cried, slept, hurt, bled, and died just like any other human being.

Jesus’ humanity is straightforward even to human reason, but His divinity came first. Jesus is the eternal Son of God Who “ became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14). Jesus retained His divine nature completely, and at the same time, He became fully man, taking on flesh and blood.

This is where human reason becomes stuck and starts to dismiss the miracle of the two natures of Christ. Some explain away His humanity while others dismiss His divinity. Yet anything that results in a Savior Who is less than 100% God and 100% man contradicts Scripture and is completely false.

Through the personal union of God and man, we have the only Savior Who could redeem us from our sins. To save us, the Christ needed to be human so that He could be one of us. To be our substitute, He had to live under the law (Galatians 4:4) just as we are obligated to fulfill God’s expectations of us. To bear the punishment for our sins, He also had to die. The eternal Son of God could neither be under the law nor die, and thus the Christ had to be man.

However, no ordinary human being could keep God’s Law perfectly. The death of an ordinary human would not be valuable enough to satisfy the sin-debt of the whole world (Psalm 49:7-8a). Nor could a sin-laden human being conquer sin and death by rising from the dead. Simply stated, no mere human being could be the Savior.

The only way to fulfill God’s expectation of every human being and pay the debt recorded on every ledger of sin was if that Savior were true God and true Man.

The human nature of Jesus was taken into the divine when the Holy Spirit conceived Jesus in the womb of the virgin, Mary. The communication of divine attributes to the man Jesus is evidenced by the miracles Jesus performed and the divine attributes which Scripture reveals – His omniscience, omnipotence, divine honor, and more.

The apostle Paul instructed the early New Testament Christians concerning the truth of Who Jesus is. “There is one God and one mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 2:5), and “In Him dwells the fullness of the Godhead bodily” (Colossians 2:9).

DNA testing has removed many questions concerning human lineage. Only Scripture unveils the mystery of Who Jesus our Savior truly is. Scripture reveals this so that we may know and believe that the Son of God was made flesh to redeem us from our sins. “Great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh.” (2 Timothy 3:16)

Wayne Eichstadt is pastor of Gethsemane Lutheran Church in Spokane Valley, Washington.