Tuesday, February 28, 2006

He Became Us

“For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens.” (Heb.7:26)

Notice the verse does not say He became like us; that would have been magnanimous. No; He literally became us. And, humanly speaking, that was ridiculous. In fact while He lived among us, He was ridiculed over and over for that very fact. When I read the book of Hebrews I get the idea that its writer was as blown away by the Incarnation as I am (e.g., chap. 1). Then, as if to underscore just how unreasonable it is, he lists some of our Lord’s myriad virtues that mark Him as being nothing like us: “…holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens.” For what earthly reason, one could surely ask, would such a One as He, choose to become us? And there you have it. It was not for any earthly reason, but, rather, a heavenly purpose.

He had to become us, so that we could become Him (Jno.17:22-23). It had to be an even exchange. He became us, without sin; and we became Him; without deity. Frankly, our transformation is as unfathomable to me as His Incarnation. He did not deserve to die, and I did not deserve to live. But He could not live and die for us without actually becoming us; and we cannot die and live in Heaven without becoming Him. It has to be an even exchange.

I don’t begin to understand all the implications of this, but I do understand the imputation, because I am a grateful participator in this Holy exchange. And I say with Isaac Watts:

Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small.
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul…my life…my all.

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