THE TWO BECOMINGS OF CHRIST
In the New Testament, the word became is used twice concerning Christ. First, the Word who is God became flesh (John 1:1, 14). The eternal God, Jehovah, the Triune God, the Creator and Upholder of the entire universe, became flesh. He became Immanuel, God with man. Second, after thirty-three and a half years, He passed through death and resurrection and became a life-giving Spirit. He became flesh, and then He became the life-giving Spirit. These two "becomings" are great in significance.
CHRIST BEING BOTH DIVINE AND HUMAN
AS THE SHOOT OF JEHOVAH
AND THE FRUIT OF THE EARTH
The Shoot of Jehovah and the Fruit of the earth (Isa. 4:2) convey to us a wonderful and marvelous picture concerning Christ in His divinity and humanity. In eternity God existed in His divinity. He remained merely in His divinity until He became flesh through incarnation. Just as a shoot of any plant indicates a new start, a new development, Christ as the Shoot of Jehovah was a new start, a new development, a branching out of divinity into humanity.
God created man in His image and after His likeness with the intention that one day He Himself would become a man. But He did not come into man right away. He waited four thousand years after His creation of man to become a man. This shows that our God is really a God of patience. God promised Abraham that through his seed all the nations of the earth would be blessed (Gen. 12:2-3). From the day of that promise, God continued to be patient for another two thousand years until the angel of the Lord, Gabriel, came to Mary and said, "Rejoice, favored one! The Lord is with you....Do not fear, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call His name Jesus" (Luke 1:28-31). First, God created man. Two thousand years later, He made a promise to Abraham. Then another two thousand years later, He became a man through incarnation.
God came from His divinity and with His divinity to enter into humanity. The birth of Jesus was the spreading of God, the Shoot of the eternal and unlimited God. He was a new development, a new start, the branching out of the divine person into humanity. At the time of the Lord’s birth, men did not understand its significance; but the angels understood and celebrated (Luke 2:13-14). God had entered into another realm. The eternal God in His divinity entered into humanity. He became a person with two natures, two statuses. He was divine in eternity past, but in time He became a man to be human. He was no longer merely God; He became a God-man.
His incarnation to become the God-man was the initiation of the process for Him to be life to man. The consummation of the process was when this wonderful person, the God-man, walked out of death and entered into the realm of resurrection. He had lived on this earth for thirty-three and a half years; He then voluntarily went into the unpleasant realm of death, stayed there for three days, and walked out of death, entering into resurrection. With this step He finished the process. In resurrection He became a life-giving Spirit. Now our Savior God is both Immanuel and the life-giving Spirit to us. As Immanuel we have to live with Him. He is with us, and we have to be with Him.
(The Triune God to Be Life to the Tripartite Man, Chapter 9, by Witness Lee)