The Old Life Dies and New Life is Born

God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning–the first day. Gen 1:5 (NIV)

Night. I suppose the evening was mentioned before the morning, because the evening existed first – before the morning was spoken into being.” Jeanette Green, Binocular Vision.

One day must die before the next morning can be born.

Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. John 12:24 (ESV)

Something must die to prepare for any new birth. When a man or woman is converted and born again, he or she no longer belongs to himself or herself. A true Christian is married to God. You die to your earthly independence, you die to your bondage to religious traditions and rules, you die to your bondage to selfish desires, all so you can live in the love of God, all so you can become the wonderful person God made you to be.

When a young woman becomes pregnant, she is bent out of shape, she is changed for ever, she will never be the same. She dies to her old identity. She is no longer a girl, she is a woman and a mother. Something must die to make way for new life.

When Jesus came to our earth to open the door of heaven for us all, he took on a new shape. He became a human baby. God became a human being. The Son of God was changed for ever. He was always God and will always be God but from the time Jesus was conceived in the body of Mary, she became not only a young woman but also a mother and He became not only God but also human.

And the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom. And the favour of God was upon him. Lk 2:40 (ESV)

How can God grow in wisdom?

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. Philippians 2:5-7 (ESV)

How could Jesus as a young boy in Nazareth “grow in wisdom” if he retained the ability to think with perfect omniscience, knowing and understanding all things without needing to take even a few minutes to think anything out?

He “emptied himself.” Some theologians try to make it more complicated but I cannot see it any other way. Jesus did not just live as God (with all God’s power and knowledge) in a human body. Jesus freely chose to retain his character and identity as God but to restrict himself to the limitations of a human soul and a human mind. Jesus was not God in a human body but God as a human being. A big difference. He became man, he became human, he became one of us.

Something had to die, so something new could grow up.

Of course Jesus never stopped being God. What He laid down, He took up again when He ascended into heaven after he returned from the grave.

For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. Jn 10:17 (ESV)

And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed. Jn 17:5 (ESV)

When He was a man on earth, Jesus laid aside His own glory, his own unlimited power and his own unlimited knowledge, so that he could point men and women to the glory of the Father.

Father, glorify your name!” Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and will glorify it again.” Jn 12:28 (NIV)

The more Jesus emptied himself, the more he appeared in shame, the more he glorified the Father.

And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death– even death on a cross! Philippians 2:8 (NIV)

As I understand it, Jesus on the cross demonstrated the character of God. He showed that the love of God even takes precedence over His majesty and power. God is great and almighty but above all else, God IS love.

 

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