II. DIED AS GOD
A. For an Eternal Redemption
Yet if Jesus were only a sinless man, we would still have a great problem. His death would be good for only one man; in fact, it would be good for only one sin. Let us explain. God requires man to die because of sin—even one sin. Suppose in your entire life you committed only one sin. As a sinless man, Jesus could die as a substitute for that sin. But if you were to sin again you would have to die for that second sin. Well, you know that you have sinned more than once in your life! How could one man, Jesus, die for all your sins and for all the sins of mankind? And how could it work for us two thousand years after His death?
We have pointed out before that although Christ became a man, He was still God. He was a genuine man, yet also the complete God. His being God added an eternal element to His redeeming blood. Hebrews 9:14 says that the Lord offered Himself up through the eternal Spirit. He has accomplished an eternal redemption for us (Heb. 9:12). Now Jesus’ blood is effective for all men of all times. It can cleanse every sin of every man on the earth.
B. To Give Eternal Life
But redemption alone is not the goal of the Lord’s work. His ultimate goal is to dispense His divine life into man. This is the aspect of Christ’s death as the grain of wheat, which we saw earlier. Who could give man the eternal, divine life except God Himself? This is the second reason why Christ had to be God: only God could release the divine life into man.
Praise the Lord Jesus! He is the unique God-man. No one could do what He did for us. As a man without sin, He was qualified to shed His blood for us. As God, He has made His death eternally effective. He has accomplished an eternal redemption and He has released the divine life of God into us.
III. HERESIES CONCERNING CHRIST
If we are clear about the previous points, we will realize how seriously wrong it is to say that Christ was not a real man or that He was not God. If either is true, then Christ’s redemptive work would be utterly annulled. We would all perish.
Yet, as absurd as it is, there have been people throughout Christian history who have taught such heresies. Even today some say that Christ was God but not really a man. If that were true, then Christ could not shed human blood for man’s sin. Others say that Christ was a man but not God, and that He died merely as a martyr. If that were true, His death would not be eternally effective and He could never put God’s life into us. Still others say that Christ was neither God nor man but a third kind of being. This is as ridiculous as the other teachings. The Bible never gives any ground for such heresies. By now you should be very clear that the Lord Jesus was fully God and fully man. He was the complete God and a genuine man. He was a God-man. His death was the accomplishment of redemption for all mankind.
(Lesson Book, Level 2: The Triune God—The Triune God and the Person and Work of Christ, Chapter 18, by Witness Lee)