Ellen White Evidence
Christ's Dual Nature: Divine + Human
Christ’s Dual Nature
When Joseph and Mary brought Jesus to the temple, he was only an infant of a few weeks. But he was also the Ancient of days, whose goings forth have been from of old, even from everlasting. He was indeed the long-expected Messiah, of whom the Jews had read, “The Lord, whom you seek, shall suddenly come to his temple.” [Malachi 3:1.] To the Pharisees Christ afterward declared, “Before Abraham was, I am.” [John 8:58.] He is the head of an unchangeable priesthood, the only true high priest over the house of God.
But although Christ’s divine glory was for a time veiled and eclipsed by His assuming humanity, yet He did not cease to be God when He became man. The human did not take the place of the divine, nor the divine of the human. This is the mystery of godliness. The two expressions human and divine were, in Christ, closely and inseparably one, and yet they had a distinct individuality. Though Christ humbled Himself to become man, the Godhead was still His own. His Deity could not be lost while He stood faithful and true to His loyalty.
Christ brought men and women power to overcome. He came to this world in human form, to live a man amongst men. He assumed the liabilities of human nature, to be proved and tried. In His humanity He was a partaker of the divine nature. In His incarnation He gained in a new sense the title of the Son of God. Said the angel to Mary, “The power of the Highest shall overshadow thee; therefore also that Holy Thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.” While the Son of a human being, He became the Son of God in a new sense. Thus He stood in our world—the Son of God, yet allied by birth to the human race.
The Son of God was next in authority to the great Lawgiver. He knew that his life alone could be sufficient to ransom fallen man. He was of as much more value than man as his noble, spotless character, and exalted office as commander of all the heavenly host, were above the work of man. He was in the express image of his Father, not in features alone, but in perfection of character. [2SP, p. 9.1]
The divine Son of God was the only sacrifice of sufficient value to fully satisfy the claims of God’s perfect law. The angels were sinless, but of less value than the law of God. They were amenable to law. They were messengers to do the will of Christ, and before him to bow. They were created beings, and probationers. Upon Christ no requirements were laid. He had power to lay down his life, and to take it again. No obligation was laid upon him to undertake the work of atonement. It was a voluntary sacrifice that he made. His life was of sufficient value to rescue man from his fallen condition. [2SP, p. 10.1]
As the time drew near for the Son of God to make his first advent, Satan became more vigilant in preparing the hearts of the Jewish people to be steeled against the evidences he should bring of his Messiahship. [2SP, p. 12.1]
When the time was fulfilled, Christ was born in a stable, and cradled in a manger, surrounded by the beasts of the stall. And is this indeed the Son of God, to all outward appearance a frail, helpless babe, so much resembling other infants? His divine glory and majesty were vailed by humanity, and angels heralded his advent. The tidings of his birth were borne with joy to the heavenly courts, while the great men of the earth knew it not. [2SP, p. 15.1]
God well knew that the advent of his Son to earth would stir the powers of darkness. Satan did not want that light should come into the world. The eye of God was upon his Son every moment. [2SP, p. 26.1]
This was the reception the Saviour met as he came to a fallen world. He left his heavenly home, his majesty, and riches, and high command, and took upon himself man’s nature, that he might save the fallen race. Instead of men glorifying God for the honor he had conferred upon them in thus sending his Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, by giving him a place in their affections, there seemed to be no rest nor safety for the infant Saviour. Jehovah could not trust to the inhabitants of the world his Son, who came into the world that through his divine power he might redeem fallen man. He who came to bring life to man, met, from the very ones he came to benefit, insult, hatred, and abuse. God could not trust his beloved Son with men while carrying on his benevolent work for their salvation, and final exaltation to his own throne. He sent angels to attend his Son and preserve his life, till his mission on earth should be accomplished, and he should die by the hands of the very men he came to save. [2SP, p. 29.2]
When Christ first announced to the heavenly host His mission and work in the world, He declared that He was to leave His position of dignity and disguise His holy mission by assuming the likeness of a man, when in reality He was the Son of the infinite God. And when the fullness of time was come, He stepped down from His throne of highest command, laid aside His royal robe and kingly crown, clothed His divinity with humanity, and came to this earth to exemplify what humanity must do and be in order to overcome the enemy and to sit with the Father upon His throne. …
The Son of God, heaven’s glorious Commander, was touched with pity for the fallen race. He entered into a covenant with God to save man, and to vindicate His Father’s character as expressed in the law. He came to the earth in the form of man to refute Satan’s lie, that God had given a law which man could not keep. He came to give Himself as a sacrifice for sin, thus revealing to the heavenly universe that the law is as changeless and eternal as is Jehovah Himself.
God has given to the world and to angels the evidence of the changeless character of His love. He would part with His only begotten Son, send Him into the world, clothed in the likeness of sinful flesh, to condemn sin and to die upon Calvary’s cross to make it manifest to men that there is provision in the counsels of heaven for those who believe in Christ, to keep the commandments of God.
The Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of the Father, is truly God in infinity, but not in personality.
The more we think about Christ’s becoming a babe here on earth, the more wonderful it appears. How can it be that the helpless babe in Bethlehem’s manger is still the divine Son of God? Though we cannot understand it, we can believe that he who made the worlds, for our sakes became a helpless babe. Though higher than any of the angels, though as great as the Father on the throne of heaven, he became one with us. In him God and man became one, and it is in this fact that we find the hope of our fallen race. Looking upon Christ in the flesh, we look upon God in humanity, and see in him the brightness of divine glory, the express image of God the Father.
We breathe because God takes charge of the human machinery. Day by day He keeps it in working order, and He wants us to think of the infinite sacrifice He has made for us in suffering with One equal with himself—His only begotten Son. He consented to let Him come to a world all seared and marred with the curse of sin, to stand at the head of humanity as a sin-bearing, sin-pardoning Saviour. God has pledged himself to receive sinners; for He “so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
In order that man might be placed on vantage ground with God, Christ, the only begotten Son of God, made in His express image, came to this world and in the likeness of humanity lived a perfect life. “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” [ .]
The world did not see divinity in the humble Man of Nazareth. The only-begotten Son of the infinite God was in the world, and men knew Him not in His true character.
In searching the pages of God’s word, we move through scenes majestic and eternal. We behold Jesus, the Son of God, coming to our world and engaging in the mysterious conflict that discomfited the powers of darkness. How wonderful, how almost incredible, it is that the infinite God would consent to the humiliation of His only-begotten Son!
When Adam’s sin plunged the race into hopeless misery, God might have cut Himself loose from fallen beings. He might have treated them as sinners deserve to be treated. He might have commanded the angels of heaven to pour out upon our world the vials of His wrath. He might have removed this dark blot from His universe. But He did not do this. Instead of banishing them from His presence, He came still nearer to the fallen race. He gave His Son to become bone of our bone, and flesh of our flesh. “The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father), full of grace and truth.” Christ by His human relationship to men drew them close to God. He clothed His divine nature with the garb of humanity, and demonstrated before the heavenly universe, before the unfallen worlds, how much God loves the children of men.
Christ declared, I have pledged myself, as the only begotten Son of the Lord God Almighty, to carry out God’s plan to win souls from Satan. The Saviour alone can defeat the enemy. He works in man’s behalf to uncover his plans, that souls may be led to turn from the arch-deceiver. ¶ The Prince of heaven, he who was one with the Father, gave himself to redeem the fallen race. Satan is actively and untiringly at work to defeat the Saviour’s purpose. But Christ says, Where Satan has set his throne, there will I establish my cross. The prince of evil shall be cast out, and I will become the center of a world redeemed.
What a salvation is revealed in the covenant by which God promised to be our Father, His only begotten Son our Redeemer, and the Holy Spirit our Comforter, Counsellor, and Sanctifier. Upon no lower ground than this is it safe for us to place our feet.
In giving His Son, God gave Himself that man might have another trial. If God could have changed this law to meet man in his fallen condition, would He not have done this, and retained His only begotten Son in heaven?—He certainly would. But because His law was as changeless as His character, He gave His beloved Son, who was above law, and one with Himself, to meet the penalty which His justice demanded.
Let no one feel that he is stepping down in becoming a child of God. It was the only begotten Son of God who stepped down. He gave himself for us. Leaving His splendor, His majesty, His high command, and clothing His divinity, with humanity, that humanity might touch humanity, and divinity lay hold upon divinity. He came to this earth, and in our behalf suffered the death of the cross.
In his only begotten Son, God was made manifest to the world. The Son of God laid aside his glory, and clothed himself with humanity. He became the meek and lowly Jesus.
That God should consent to let his only begotten Son come to a world all seared and marred with the curse, to walk a man among men, and to suffer death by crucifixion,—does not this bear eloquent witness to the power of God’s love?
That God who rules the world in love and wisdom testifies, in the death of His only begotten Son, to His changeless character. He could not change His character as expressed in His law, but He could give His Son, one with Himself, possessing His attributes, to a fallen world. By so doing, He did not change His character, but He magnified His name and glory as a God above all gods.
The Lord saw us in a sad condition, and sent to our world the only messenger that he could trust with his great treasure of pardon and grace. Christ, the only begotten Son of God, was the delegated messenger. He was ordained to do a work that even the angels of heaven could not accomplish. He alone could be trusted to do the work required for the redemption of a world all seared and marred with the curse. And in this gift the Father gave all heaven to the world. ¶ What a change was this for the Son of God, him who was the adored of angels, the Light of heaven! He might have gone to the pleasant homes of the unfallen worlds, to the pure atmosphere where disloyalty and rebellion had never intruded; and there he would have been received with acclamations of praise and love. But it was a fallen world that needed the Redeemer. …