What is the significance of the humanity of Jesus?

The humanity of Jesus is essential to the character of Jesus as the Christ. Second John 1:7 specifically states that those who deny the humanity of Jesus are false teachers: "For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not confess the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh. Such a one is the deceiver and the antichrist." Jesus is God in the flesh.

First John 4:1-3 instructs, "Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already." To fail to accept Jesus as fully human is to miss the true message of Jesus.

The humanity of Jesus is important because prophecy required a physical birth. The Messianic prophecy of Isaiah 9:6 had said, "a child is born." Galatians 4:4-5 says, "But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons."

Also, the Son of God entered the world fully human in order to experience the struggles of humanity. Without His humanity, Jesus could not have been tempted as we are (Matthew 4:1-10), nor could He experience human sadness, suffering, or pain.

Another important reason Jesus had to be fully human was that He had to die for the sins of humanity on the cross. If He did not have flesh and blood, then He could not shed His blood; He could not die. Without the death of Christ, there is no sacrifice for sins, and we are unforgiven (1 Corinthians 5:7; Hebrews 9:22).

Related to the fact of His death is the fact of His resurrection. After His physical death, Jesus physically rose from the dead. If He had not died, then He certainly could not have resurrected. This teaching is essential to the Christian faith. Paul stated it in the strongest terms: "if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ. . . . If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins" (1 Corinthians 15:14-15, 17).

Those who deny the humanity of Christ reject an essential doctrine of the Bible. A belief that Jesus was a spiritual being or that He only had the appearance of physicality negates the reality of His death and makes salvation impossible. Scripture proclaims that Jesus is both the Son of God and the Son of Man.

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