Why Jesus Became A Man

"Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus. Who, being in the form of God, did not consider it  robbery to be equal with God: But made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men: And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him, and given Him the name which is above every name…" Philippians 2:5-9.

       This scripture teaches that Jesus Christ existed from eternity as the eternal Son of the eternal Father and that He possessed all the attributes of deity that the Father did. We are told that the eternal Son of God took upon Himself the attributes of humanity. We note the following phrases:

Who being in the form of God…" The Greek word, hyparchon, translated here as "being in" is in the perfect tense and carries the idea "remaining in", meaning that even while appearing as a man Jesus Christ continued to possess His attributes of deity in the form of God.
"...Coming in the likeness of men", "being found in appearance as a man". These phrases describe the virgin birth and incarnation of Jesus Christ. The virgin birth means that Christ entered the human family as a result of the Holy Spirit "overshadowing" the Jewish virgin Mary (Luke 1:35). The incarnation means that Christ took to Himself a genuine human nature in addition to His eternal divine nature. This is summed up so beautifully in Colossians 2:9 "For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily."   Our question now is, why did Jesus become a man?

To Submit Himself The Frailties of the Human Body

"Who …taking  the form of a servant…"  verse 7.
"Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same…"
Hebrews 2:14. 

Jesus Was Helpless As A Baby 
        As a little baby He nurses from His mother's breast; is cleansed and has His every need met

Jesus Obeyed His Mother And Stepfather
       At twelve years of age we are given a cameo picture of His growing years. Luke 2:51 says regarding His relationship with His parents that he "…was subject to them".   Jesus obeyed His mother and stepfather. He honored them as all children are commanded to do. 

Jesus Became Tired
       In His ministry He experienced weariness and exhaustion. As Jesus was passing through Samaria we are told "Now Jacob's well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied from His journey, sat thus by the well…" John 4:6. 
       After a day of preaching Jesus and His disciples got into a boat to cross the sea of Galilee. Mark tells us that a storm arose that was so violent it had nearly filled the ship with water. He then adds, "And He (Jesus) was in the stern, asleep on a pillow…" Mark 4:38. How weary Jesus must have been to remain sleeping through such a storm. 

Jesus Knew Hunger   
       Jesus knew what it was to be hungry and thirsty. Following his 40 days of fasting in the wilderness he hungered. Matthew 4:2. As He walked from Bethany to Jerusalem one morning during the passion week "He was hungry". Mark 11:12. He asked the woman who came to the well of Jacob at the time of the noon day heat, "Give me to drink." One of the last things He said on the cross was, "I thirst". 

Jesus Lacked The "Necessities Of Life"  
       Jesus was acquainted with what we call being deprived of the necessities of life. He said, "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head." Matthew 8:20.

Jesus Knew Temptation   
       Jesus experienced temptation. He "was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin." Hebrews 4:15. We also read the reason why, "For in that He Himself has suffered being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted.." Hebrews 2:18. 

Jesus knew suffering  
       Need we say Jesus knew suffering? When we observe the Lord's Supper we quote His words, "Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you."  1st Corinthians 11:24.

Jesus Became A Man To Submit Himself to Man's Condemnation   
"…And became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross."

Thorns, The Symbol of God's Curse on Man.  
       After Adam and Eve had sinned God said to Adam, "…Cursed is the ground for your sake…both thorns also and thistles it shall bring forth for you…" Genesis 3:17, 18. 
       Paul tells us, "Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us…"  Galatians 3:13.  And what was Jesus wearing on His head as He hung on the cross, "When they had twisted a crown of thorns they put it upon His head…" Matthew 27:29. On the cross He wore the symbol of God's curse on man.

Death, The Penalty For Man's Sin   
       "Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin; and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned." Romans 5:12. "For as in Adam all die…" 1 Corinthians 15:22 The scriptures present death in three areas: 

  1. Physical death which is separation of the soul from the body
  2. Spiritual death, which is separation of man from God
  3. Eternal death which is separation from God for all eternity. 

Jesus Received the Penalty for Our Sin as Our Substitute on the Cross of Calvary. 
        Our sins were laid on Him. "All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned everyone, to his own way; And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all." Isaiah 53:6. 
       Jesus received our death for us. His blood is the evidence of His physical death:  "For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls…" Leviticus 17:11. The evidence of his spiritual death is His cry, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me? Matthew 27:46 (See also Psalm 22:1-3)

When we receive Jesus Christ by faith as our Savior we experience a divine exchange. We receive the righteousness of Jesus Christ that makes us acceptable to God. "For He (God) made Him (Jesus), who knew no sin to be sin for us; that we might become the righteousness of God in Him." 2nd Corinthians 5:21.

     Dr. H.A. Ironsides visited a cattle ranch in Texas. He saw a lamb covered with the hide of another lamb. He was told that a mother sheep had a lamb that died and there was a lamb whose mother had died. The workers put the orphan lamb in a pen with the mother sheep, but she pushed it away. They covered the orphan lamb with the hide of her dead lamb and she accepted it, nurtured and loved it. This is a crude, but helpful illustration of how we are made acceptable to God "in Christ Jesus".

esus Became A Man To Deliver Man From Death And The Grave   
"Therefore God also has highly exalted Him…" 
Genesis begins, "In the beginning God…" and ends with the words, "In a coffin in Egypt." From the time of man's sin in the Garden of Eden man has ended his earthly journey in death. 
       The prospect of every man, woman, boy and girl is death, but Jesus has experienced death and the grave for us. To us He gives the ultimate victory over death and the grave. 
       We are told that Joseph of Arimathaea prepared a tomb for himself and his family. (Luke 23:52, 53) But Jesus was the one who was laid in death in Joseph's tomb. A huge round stone was rolled down a track to cover the door. The Roman Seal forbade anyone to open the tomb. It seems that the enemies of Jesus were unaware that over 700 years previous Isaiah prophesied, "And they made his grave with the wicked---but  with the rich at his death."  Isaiah 53:9.   Isaiah went on to prophesy, "…when you make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand."   Isaiah 53:10. 
       Three days later the resurrected, glorified Christ rose in victory over death and the grave. God the Father was satisfied with the sacrificial death of Christ for man's sin. That huge stone was hurled from the mouth of the grave…not to let Jesus out, but to let others in to see that He was not there. Jesus proceeded to give infallible proof over the next forty days that He was risen from the dead.

       What does all this mean? It means that every person who has trusted Christ as their Savior has the assurance that even if their bodies go into the grave, they won't stay in the grave for the Lord Himself will come and call their bodies to resurrected life. Paul also indicated that when the bodies of the redeemed are resurrected every mouth will shout, "O Death, where is your  sting? O Hades, where is your victory?" 1st Corinthians 15:55.

       Yes, a glorious reason Jesus became a man was to deliver man from death and the grave. Perhaps the apostle Paul put it all together when he wrote, "This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief"  1st Timothy 1:15.   He came to save you. Have you allowed Him to do it?

Copyright © 2002 Thomas E Berry
Scripture quotations are from NKJV unless otherwise noted