Friday, November 16, 2012

#410 Some Thoughts on Incarnation

Where hypostasis means being or thing stripped down to its fundamental, basic, essential elements, a better translation of the key clause in Hebrews 1:3 would be, “the presentation of his being.”  Emmanu-el = with-us-god.  The Logos retained his God-hypostasis and added man-hypostasis, while emptying himself of something.  But what is that something?

God is holy where holy means separated, different, other.  In the incarnation, he became like us, no longer separated, no longer different, no longer other.  Regarding our low estate, he became unholy, not considering holiness a thing to be grasped.  By his life of faith even unto death he sanctified (made holy) mankind and brought him back into communion with God as our forerunner, brother, and advocate.  The Lord of the world became our brother; the King our servant.  This is all a description of a movement away from holiness of one to move back to holiness the many.  He carried a host of captives in his train.

Hebrews 2:10-18 is about solidarity.  Jesus did what all the prophets from Moses to Jeremiah did when confronted with the destruction of God’s people by his wrath: he advocated for mercy.  And as always, slavery to the fear of the angel of death (the devil), and death itself, is the problem.  Death is the one really ultimate final thing in this world that can’t be beat.

But… we see Jesus (Hebrews 2:9).  We see (if we believe) a man, albeit through the murky waters of history, do the impossible: defeat the enemy we couldn’t, opening the way, breaking through to life.  He must’ve broken through the very heart of God, the very merciful heart of God, because only a god as we have imagined the one we believe to be could’ve accomplished something like this.  Many have claimed to have broken through to the god they have imagined, but whether they have or not, a man who was dead but now lives as attested by witnesses is certainly one who has.  Jesus of Nazareth breached the heart of God.  When we preach the resurrected messiah, this is the claim we make regardless of who we think he is.  But of course, to whom else should we turn.  No other testimony so much as claims to have broken through in such an objective way.

The herald says, “God is with you as a man!  As a man he has broken through death!  A man has broken through death!  Quickly, follow him through the breach!”


Anonymous said...

I love the urgency of that last image.

Anonymous said...

You've been quiet a while. I miss your posts, hope to see something new soon.

Alex said...

Thanks. Yeah, this is probably my longest drought since I started writing here back in 2005. That's what three kids will do to you. Hopefully will find more energy and time in the near future as I learn to manage it all better.