What is man? (Part 6: Humanity redeemed)
“What is man?” (Psalm 8:4). We’ve attempted to answer this question biblically: God created man for his glory, in his image, as both male and female; a unity of body and soul. Tragically, this picture of humanity was distorted by the fall. We became less than we were originally intended to be: we became sinners.
But the story does not end there. God promised a “seed” who would restore what sin had destroyed (Genesis 3:15). Throughout human history God entered into covenant with certain people so that through them He could send the promised Seed. That is why God promised Abraham: “in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (Genesis 12:3). That was God’s purpose when He promised David: “your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me. Your throne shall be established forever” (2 Samuel 7:16).
God also sent prophets to prepare the people for the coming of this Seed. God gave Isaiah a prophecy: “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” (Isaiah 7:14). God gave Daniel a vision: “with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him. And to him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him” (Daniel 7:13-14). These and other prophets prepared God’s people for this Redeemer’s coming.
And then He came: “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father” (John 1:14). In Jesus we see what humanity was meant to be: “At present, we do not yet see everything in subjection to him [that is humanity]. But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honour” (Hebrews 2:8-9).
Jesus Christ became the perfect man, lived the perfect life and died the death we deserved to die. Sinners are redeemed – humanity is restored – in Christ. The New Testament explains this “recreation” like this: “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” (2 Corinthians 5:17). What sin has destroyed, Christ has restored. We can only fulfil our true purpose when we are united, by faith, to this perfect Man.
Because of Christ,
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