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NCC Question 22

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Why must the Redeemer be truly human?

That in human nature he might on our behalf perfectly obey the whole law and suffer the punishment for human sin.

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. - "Hebrews 2:17"

We know from John 1 that the Word (Jesus Christ) became flesh and dwelt among us. We learn from Hebrews 2:17 that Jesus had to be made like us in every respect so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God. Only one who is truly human can pay for the debt of humankind, the wage of sin, which is death.

What we see in Jesus is true humanity, not like us. When we fall short, we often say, "oh that's okay. You're human. We all make mistakes." Yet, Jesus is human and did not sin or fall to temptation. What marks true humanity?

What Christ does in being the "second Adam" is truly remarkable. In his humanity, he offers to God everything that we owe God. He offers to God the obediece that we refuse (and are unable) to give him because of our fallen, sinful nature. He also displayed perfect righteousness. Our righteousness is not found in ourselves but in Christ Jesus alone. Lastly, he took it upon himself to take our place by dying on the cross and paying the penalty that we owed.

It was necessary that he be made like us in every way, but without sin.

"Text adapted from Thabiti Anyabwile"