The question of why God became man in the person of Jesus Christ has puzzled believers and non-believers alike for centuries. This profound mystery speaks to the very heart of the Christian faith and reveals the extent of God’s love and mercy.
In this comprehensive article, we will explore four key reasons drawn from Scripture and Christian theology explaining why the divine took on human form to dwell among us.
If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: God became man in Jesus Christ in order to reveal Himself to us in a personal way, to serve as the perfect sacrifice for our sins, to empathize with our human struggles as a High Priest, and to defeat sin and death once and for all.
To Reveal Himself Personally
God is Spirit and Invisible to Us
God is an infinite, all-powerful Spirit Being who is completely holy and righteous (Isaiah 6:3). As a Spirit, God is invisible to us finite human beings confined to our physical bodies (John 4:24). While we can perceive the evidence of God in nature and in His Word, we cannot directly see or touch Him because He is an immaterial, invisible Spirit.
Jesus Reveals God in Human Form
When Jesus Christ came to earth, He revealed God to us in visible, tangible form (John 1:14). God took on human flesh in the person of Jesus who walked, talked, ate, and lived among humanity. Jesus made God known to us in a way we could hear, see and touch (1 John 1:1-4).
When people looked at Jesus, they saw God revealed in a way they could understand.
Jesus Shows Us God’s Character and Love
Not only could people see and touch Jesus, they could also observe His characteristics and divine nature. Jesus said, “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9). By watching Jesus heal the sick, care for the needy, forgive sinners, and perform miracles, people witnessed the compassionate heart of God.
Jesus demonstrated God’s holiness and love in action. He perfectly modelled God’s moral character.
Ultimately, God became flesh in Jesus so He could die for our sins, offering Himself as an atoning sacrifice to reconcile sinners back to a holy God (2 Corinthians 5:18-21). Jesus had to become human so He could take our place on the cross.
In Christ, God revealed Himself personally and dramatically provided a way for us to be reconciled to Him forever.
To Serve as Our Sacrifice
Jesus Christ came to earth to serve as the perfect and final sacrifice for our sins. As humans, we are sinful and separated from God, requiring a sacrifice for the forgiveness of our sins. Jesus willingly gave his life on the cross as that sacrifice, bridging the gap between God and man.
We Are Sinful and Separated from God
The Bible teaches that all people have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). We were created to have fellowship with God, but our own disobedience separates us from our Creator. Sin represents the breaking of God’s perfect law and creates a barrier between us and a holy God (Isaiah 59:2).
As a result, we are spiritually dead, enslaved to sin, and deserving of God’s wrath.
Sacrifice Required for Forgiveness of Sins
According to Scripture, the payment for sin is death (Romans 6:23). In the Old Testament, animal sacrifices were instituted as a temporary system to atone for sin. However, the blood of bulls and goats could never fully remove our sin (Hebrews 10:4).
These sacrifices foreshadowed Christ’s ultimate sacrifice on the cross. Jesus paid the penalty of death that we deserve and opened the way for us to have a relationship with God. As the perfect Son of God, only Jesus could serve as the final atoning sacrifice for our sins.
Leviticus 17:11 explains, “For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one’s life.” The sacrifice of an innocent life was required to cover sin.
When Jesus shed his blood on the cross as the sacrifice for our sins, he satisfied God’s just demand for payment.
Jesus as the Perfect and Final Sacrifice
Jesus willingly laid down his life as the ultimate sacrifice for our sins (John 10:15). As the spotless Lamb of God, his blood provides eternal redemption (Hebrews 9:12). The sacrificial system prescribed in the Old Testament Law was merely a foreshadowing of Christ’s supreme sacrifice.
Unlike previous sacrifices, Jesus’ death on the cross finally made complete atonement for our sins (Hebrews 10:14). His sacrifice is fully sufficient for all who put their trust in him.
The Bible says in 1 John 2:2, “He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.” Jesus’ death satisfied the wrath of God toward sin. There is no longer a need for continual animal sacrifices.
Christ eliminated the need for a human mediator or priest. Jesus serves as the final high priest and mediator between God and man (Hebrews 8:6). Through his shed blood, we can directly approach the throne of grace with confidence (Hebrews 4:16).
To Empathize As Our High Priest
Jesus Understands Our Struggles
When Jesus came to earth as a man, He experienced the full range of human struggles and temptations (https://www.gotquestions.org/Jesus-understands.html). As the author of Hebrews writes, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet he did not sin” (Hebrews 4:15).
Jesus can fully understand and empathize with our human condition because He lived it Himself. He experienced weariness (John 4:6), poverty (Luke 9:58), rejection (John 1:11), betrayal (Luke 22:48), and even excruciating death (Luke 23:46).
In one astounding passage, Isaiah 53 prophecies that the coming Messiah would be “a man of suffering, and familiar with pain” (Isaiah 53:3). Jesus fulfilled this prophecy perfectly by taking on all our infirmities and sicknesses (Matthew 8:17). He feels our pain and bears our burdens with us.
We can come to our High Priest, Jesus, and know that He completely understands what we face daily. Just as a priest in the Old Testament made sacrifices for the people of Israel, Jesus made Himself the ultimate sacrifice to empathize fully with humankind.
Jesus Intercedes for Us Before God
Not only does Jesus deeply empathize as one who has shared in our humanity, but He also continuously intercedes for us before God the Father. The Bible tells us plainly that “He is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them” (Hebrews 7:25).
Jesus serves as our heavenly advocate, bringing our needs and petitions constantly before the throne of grace.
In a striking scene in Revelation 5, John sees a vision of Jesus as a slain lamb standing again in God’s presence. Jesus empathizes so fully that He carries the marks of His sacrifice with Him eternally.
And Revelation shows Him interceding as our High Priest for the prayers of all the saints to be heard by the Father. What an incredible comfort to know, “we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense” (1 John 2:1), pleading our cause continually!
We Can Approach God’s Throne Because of Jesus
The result of Jesus serving as our empathetic High Priest and constant heavenly intercessor is that now we can approach God’s throne with freedom and confidence. We do not need to cower under God’s judgment or remain distant from His overwhelming glory.
Instead, we are told explicitly to “approach God’s throne of grace with confidence” (Hebrews 4:16). This privilege to draw intimately near to God was purchased at the highest cost by Jesus’ sacrifice for us.
|Far from God
|Brought near by the blood of Christ (Ephesians 2:13)
|Under God’s wrath
|Objects of God’s mercy (1 Peter 2:10)
|Excluded from God’s promises
|Heirs of God’s promises (Galatians 3:29)
This “confidence to enter the Most Holy Place” (Hebrews 10:19) is an incredible gift that Jesus secured for us by becoming the Lamb who took away sin’s barrier to intimacy with God. We should rejoice deeply in the reality that Jesus, our empathetic High Priest, ever intercedes so we can freely commune with the Father who loves us!
To Defeat Sin and Death
Sin Entered the World Through Adam
According to the Bible, sin entered the world through Adam and Eve’s disobedience in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3). When God created the world, everything was perfect and without sin. However, Adam and Eve gave in to temptation and rebelled against God’s command not to eat the forbidden fruit.
As a result, sin corrupted not only Adam and Eve but all of creation. Their sin ushered in a fallen world subject to evil, suffering, and death. Through Adam, sin spread to all human beings who inherited a sinful nature (Romans 5:12).
Jesus’ Death and Resurrection Defeated Sin
While Adam’s sin brought condemnation and death, Christ’s sacrifice brought justification and life (Romans 5:18). Jesus came to undo the damage caused by Adam’s sin. He lived a perfect life and then died on the cross, shedding his blood as an atoning sacrifice for sin (1 John 2:2).
Jesus paid the penalty for sin that we deserved. His resurrection proved his victory over death and demonstrated he has power over sin. Believers are united with Christ in his death and resurrection and can walk in newness of life (Romans 6:4-7).
Jesus broke the power of sin and cancelled the record of debt our sins had accumulated (Colossians 2:14).
Jesus Gives Us Victory Over Sin and Eternal Life
Those who put their faith in Christ are no longer slaves to sin but have been set free (Romans 6:18). Through the indwelling Holy Spirit, believers have power to resist temptation and walk in obedience to God’s commands.
Although Christians still struggle with sin, it no longer has dominion over them (Romans 6:14). Eternal life is God’s free gift received by grace through faith in Christ (Ephesians 2:8-9). By dying for our sins and rising from the dead, Jesus conquered the grave and secured eternal life for all who believe in him (1 Corinthians 15:54-57).
The salvation Christ provides is eternal and unable to be lost. Because of what Jesus accomplished, Christians can look forward to eternal life free from sin, suffering, and death.
In summary, Scripture clearly reveals that God became man in Jesus Christ for these four important reasons: to reveal Himself to us personally, to serve as the atoning sacrifice for our sins, to empathize with our struggles as our great High Priest, and to conquer sin and death once for all.
As God in the flesh, Jesus alone could accomplish this great salvation on our behalf. He opened the way for us to know God intimately, find forgiveness, approach His throne with boldness, and gain eternal life.
This amazing truth lies at the heart of the Christian gospel and shows just how far God was willing to go to redeem lost humanity. If you want to go deeper in understanding why Jesus came as God in the flesh, this overview provides a solid biblical framework to grasp the basics of this profound doctrine.