Theology Thursday: Jesus of Nazareth, God With Us and For Us

By Paul R. Raabe, faculty

painting showing Jesus is God and has been resurrected

People exert themselves in countless ways to reach God. We don’t have to undertake such a futile quest in search for God, though. He took the initiative and came to us.

Jesus of Nazareth is the Son of the Father who came to a rebellious humanity. Jesus of Nazareth is God with us and for us. Let’s take a closer look at why this is.

Mankind’s Problem

It is built into human nature to search for our Creator, to “seek God, in the hope that they might feel their way toward him and find him” (Acts 17:27, ESV). However, we have all been corrupted by sin. We feel around for Him like the blind in the dark.

People exert themselves in countless ways with the mind, will, heart and deeds to climb up to God; to find God; to earn God’s favor; to come into fellowship and communion with their Maker. It is all a futile quest because we are sinners, out of fellowship with our Maker and at odds against Him.

God’s Plan of Rescue

The surprising Good News is this. Out of His own free and unbounded goodness and mercy, our Creator took the initiative and came down to us, His rebellious human creatures on earth.

He began to do this sort of thing already in the history of his ancient people of Israel. At the time of Israel’s exodus from Egyptian bondage, God said to Moses: “I have come down to deliver them” (Exodus 3:8, ESV). Isaiah expressed the ultimate longing of Israel when he prayed to God: “Oh that you would rend the heavens and come down, that the mountains might quake at your presence” (Isaiah 64:1, ESV).

God’s Rescue Revealed

In the fullness of time, the God of Moses and Isaiah, the almighty Creator and our Creator, took the initiative and answered Isaiah’s prayer. Jesus of Nazareth is “Immanuel,” a Hebrew expression that literally means “God with us” (Matthew 1:23, ESV). The narrative goes like this. God the Father sent his only begotten Son, who is of one substance and nature with him, into the world to join the human race.

As the Nicene Creed summarizes, he “was incarnate (enfleshed) by the Holy Spirit of the Virgin Mary and was made man.” The Son of God took human nature to himself and made it his own, likened to us in every respect except without sin.

He became one with us to live the obedient human life in our place, to take upon himself our sins, to die the death we deserved and to rise again bodily from the dead to obtain for us our own future bodily resurrection unto eternal life. Through the gospel, we here and now by faith have communion with our Maker, a joyful communion that will never end.

Believe the Good News and rejoice. We don’t have to undertake a futile quest in search for God. God took the initiative and came to us. Jesus of Nazareth is the Son of the Father who came to rebellious human creatures on earth to bring them fellowship with his Father and with himself (1 John 1:1-3).

Jesus of Nazareth is God with us and for us. Believe the Good News and rejoice because God took the initiative and came to us.

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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.

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