Monday, September 17

Jesus Limited?

I've recently been stunned by the idea that Jesus took on a human body. No--I'm very familiar with the concept of the incarnation, almost to the point of taking it for granted that God became flesh. It still blows my mind when I take the time to ponder it, but that's not what I'm talking about.

What shocked me was realizing this--the Bible never says that Jesus stopped being limited to a human body. Yes, he was resurrected into a new body, a fantastic body, but still a physical, graspable, fish-ingesting body. Somehow I had the idea that when Philippians 2 describes his great descent, emptying himself, pouring himself out, letting go of all the omnipotence and omnipresence and all the other omni's he had as God--that somehow he got that all back at the end. But it doesn't really say that.

It does say God has highly exalted him and given him the name above every other name. That he shares the glory with the Father that he had before the creation of the world (John 17). That he's seated on the throne with all the powers under his feet (Eph. 1). 

But it doesn't say that when he ascended he ceased to be human. Quite the opposite--"he will return in the same way." He's the "first-fruits of all creation." That means Jesus is still human today. 

The 5th century church council that wrestled with Jesus' human and divine natures declared that both natures are fully present--he's fully God and fully human--and (catch this) that both natures are never-ceasing.

Whoa. That means Jesus thought physical creation was such a good idea that he was willing to become a human being, limited to a physical body . . . not just for 33 years or so; but for ever! Including today.

That means the Greeks missed it badly in rejecting the physical as lesser or inherently evil (though most of us still have that worldview). Jesus created the physical world as good, good enough to become a fully physical being (not to the exclusion of the spiritual) for all eternity.

Is this right?

I'm still reeling. More thoughts to come.

1 comment:

Jonathan said...

You're exactly right. It's been blowing my mind lately as well that Jesus still has a human body. Sure shoots down those Gnostics who said the physical is bad and the spirital is good, eh?

I just finished reading a great book on this topic...HEAVEN IS A PLACE ON EARTH by Michael Wittmer. Check it out.

Further than Jesus' body though, if you look at Revelation 21, God is going to bring all of heaven and the New Jerusalem down to the renewed Earth to live with humans forever. The whole Bible story is God's pursuit of us, his drawing near to us.

Mindboggling! The God of the universe became human to show his love for us. THEN, he's going to leave his life in heaven to live with us forever on the new Earth? What!?!? It's pure, romantic craziness is what it is.

I love it.