Monday, July 15, 2013

live as a human

God created man and woman, He did so in His image and His likeness, He did so in order that we might reflect  His glory across all of creation. We were created as, not part of creation, but to be set as the crown of creation, to be over creation. We bear no real, physical difference that clearly sets us apart from all that has been created, but we do contain both flesh and spirit, we bear that image and likeness of our Creator. We were created and set apart as humans, and when He had finished His created work on the beings that would reflect His light more fully than all of creation, God declared that humans were very good.

Why do we often blame our humanity for the struggles we have? When we fins ourselves struggling with our sins, when we see terrible things happening, we often brush it off in saying that we can't help it, we are merely human. At the Kingdom Advance conference this past week, Micah Fries made this point, and it has so far stuck with me... when created, humans were very good, humans were the image bearer of God, so then to blame our "fleshliness" on being human is to point the finger at the wrong source. Being human is of God, we allowed Satan to pervert our flesh at the fall, when we allowed sin to enter the world through Adam. At that time we ceased being humans, set above creation to reflect the Glory of our God, and we became sub-human.

As our lives continue in this new state of being, as we struggle through living in a sub-optimal capacity, there is a longing to get better, to fill the gap, to better ourselves. Our self-induced imprisonment defeats us and we begin to accept that we are living as well as we can. Enter grace, the free gift of God, enter Jesus...

Jesus came to the earth, as a human, He showed up and was as we were created to be, and lived in a way that we were created to live, and did so in order to remind those who were willing and able to recognize it, that we were (to steal the Switchfoot lyrics) meant to live for so much more. To those whom the Father had granted the eyes to see and the ears to hear, what  they saw in Jesus was not merely a good moral man, and a good teacher, not just a prophet, but what they saw was the true Son of Man who was what we were meant to have been from the time we were created, a human! A human, untouched by sin, never having compromised His place as an image bearer of God. God became human in order to remind us of who we were created to be, so that we could return to Him and fulfill the purpose for which He created us! Now, obviously, Jesus was also 100% God in this as well, because otherwise, He might have succumbed to the same temptations and pitfalls and would have traded His humanity and joined us as a sub-human.

The life of Jesus is a study on being human, in the sense of what was intended by our creation. It is not our "human-ness" that separates us from God, it is our unwillingness to be human. But in the life, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we are able to exchange our sub-human life for His human life. We are able to accept that the wrath of God, owed to us for not living as He created us to live, was poured out on Jesus as a sacrifice. We are able to repent of the life we have lead, and say to God that we want to live as humans, as we were created, very good.

As it stands now, we are further descending from our place above creation, as humans, we are deepening the divide between how we were created to live, and how we are choosing to live. As the world continues down this path, the life and example of Christ becomes more obscure to us. But to those whom God still grants the eyes to see and ears to hear, we recognize the truth in the Word of God. It doesn't have to all make sense, it doesn't have to really make any sense at all... but we recognize that there is something different, that surely there must be more to this life than what the world has to offer. Even as muddled and twisted as the path may seem, the words of Jesus still hold true that He, and He alone, is the way, the truth, and the life... the only way back to a life that is lived as God intends it to be lived is through Jesus Christ, and that life is a life lived to the glory of Him alone. The Bible promises that the world will continue to fall deeper and more desperately away from its created purpose... but it also promises a way to escape.

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