The most commonly used term that Jesus used when he was referring to himself was ‘Son of Man.’ Within that title is a rich tapestry of the prophetic journey of God’s people. (Son of man was used by God when in conversation with the prophets in the Old Testament.) But why did Jesus use this reference when he was in conversation with the crowds and the disciples? The answer is… humanity.
OK. Before we proceed, I am not about to start making a claim for humanism!
In the beginning, the fall came through the disobedience of humanity. And so, when God had redemption in mind, he also needed to enter into the confusion, depravity and fallen-ness of humanity, in order to recreate the created order.
Do you remember the story where Jesus comes to John the Baptist for baptism? Jesus didn’t need a baptism because He was without sin.* However, in order for ‘all righteousness to be fulfilled,’ Jesus had to identify with the sins of humanity. He had to fully enter into our condition, taking on our fallen condition. Jesus went down into the water, and as he came out, the Father’s pleasure was revealed.
He then ministered out of his humanity. He emptied himself of everything he knew, becoming like a servant, and learned to live by the Spirit (as humanity) and live in the power of the Spirit. He healed out of his humanity, he delivered demons out of his humanity, he performed miracles out of his humanity. He wept out of his humanity. He went through the agony of scourging, mocking, derision, beatings and crucifixion, through his humanity, to redeem humanity…
And as humanity Jesus died death to destroy the power of death, defeat the dominion of darkness, and to finally, put a nail in the coffin of sin and the evil one.
Now, what happened in the temple at this point is extremely important: The curtain ripped from top to bottom… The Father’s presence was no longer in the Holy of Holies. But was about to be with humanity again. The curtain represented the law. The law, or the knowledge of good and evil, where man first decided to go it alone, had lost its power. Jesus, as humanity, decided to live out his life in obedience to God. He fulfilled the demands of the law, the curse that humanity was subject to and opened again an intimate union between God and us.
The 1st Adam lived in disobedience, destined to live under a curse and a slave to sin. The 2nd Adam, Jesus, lived in obedience, relying fully on the wisdom of His Father, in the power of the Holy Spirit… a life of blessing and rest.
The created order, cursed by the fall from humanities disobedience, was recreated so we can choose a life of rest and joy in the Father’s presence…
How does the humanity of Jesus transform your understanding of life in the Spirit today?
God bless you
*Remember baptism is about repentance. And repentance is about sin.