Jesus β€” God in the flesh

Jesus β€” God in the flesh
Photo by Rod Long / Unsplash

Jesus came so that we would know God, see God.

His title was Emmannuel: God is with us.

This means that when Jesus was with us, God was with us.

In 1 John 5:20, we are told,

And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding so that we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.

Jesus came so that we would have experiential insight into who God is – insight unlike anyone before Jesus ever had. Because God literally was with us in the flesh of Jesus.

Notice that last, short sentence, "[Jesus] is the true God..."

We can start from here with the claim:

God will not be not-Jesus.

This is why, when Philip requests for Jesus to "Show us the Father," Jesus does a double take (John 14:8-9).

Jesus' response to Philip is, "What the heck are you talking about dude? How can you be with me this long and still not get it? Having seen me, you have seen the Father."

This is further reflected in Hebrews 1:3. There we are told that Jesus is the exact imprint of God's very being.

The Greek word used in this verse is the same word we find developed into the English word "character."

Jesus' is the character of God, and we can rest assured that God will act in no manner contrary to the character Jesus displays on earth.

Before Jesus we had imperfect people who saw things in a shadow form (book of Hebrews), and they imperfectly or inaccurately represented God to us due to their human state and their separation from God.

Compared to all the previous sources of information about God, Jesus' revelation is so clear and perfect that it is as if no one had ever seen the Father previously, until Jesus came to show us who the Father is (John 1:18).

This means that upon the cross, Jesus continues to do what he always does – Jesus, through his actions, shows us the Father.

Thus, the Father is not different from Jesus (not-Jesus), until Jesus' death can act as an agent of change on the Father to bring the Father to be able to forgive us, having vented his wrath upon Jesus.

Rather, in Jesus-upon-the-cross, the Father is revealed as he always is through Jesus' example. Upon the cross, the Father is revealed in this pinnacle moment to be absorbing the sins he is literally bearing in the act of his lynching, and the Father is recycling those sins into love being expressed in forgiveness.

Here we are offered the foundation of our faith, where everything starts from.

It is through this crucifixion moment that Jesus uses to teach everything in the Old Testament to a couple of his confused disciples on the road to Emmaus.

It is with this crucifixion moment that Paul boiled everything down when he famously told the Corinthian church, "I decided to come to you, with no certainty of anything but Jesus and his crucifixion" (1 Corinthians 2:2).

In other words, Paul believed he knew plenty more things than the crucifixion of Jesus, but the key, before anything else is certain, is to have Jesus on the cross.

It is there that we receive our cruciformed glasses through which everything else is intended to be put into focus – brought into clarity. Because it is there that we are given the clearest revelation of what God is like.

God is like Jesus.

And as Jesus endures sins heaped upon him, we see that God is a God who endures the offense of sins.

And as Jesus expresses love in unconditional forgiveness toward a world killing him, we see that God is a God who unconditionally forgives.

Nowhere do we find a God who was so angry with the world, that he sent his Son so God could kill him and reconcile himself to the world.

What Jesus lives out is that Jesus is the precious Son, sent to the world because God loves the world, and as he is raised upon the cross, Jesus draws all people to himself as God reconciles the world to himself.

And as Jesus prays forgiveness for those lynching him, God – as the Father and Spirit – says, "Of course Son, because you are our Word, you speak our heart, forgiving is what we do."