Q. If his humanity is not present wherever his divinity is, then aren’t the two natures of Christ separated from each other?
A. Certainly not. Since divinity is not limited and is present everywhere (1) it is evident that Christ’s divinity is surely beyond the bounds of the humanity that has been taken on, but at the same time his divinity is in and remains personally united to
his humanity (2).
Read: (1) Jer. 23:23-24; Acts 7:48-49 Isa. 66:1; (2) John 1:14; 3:13; Col. 2:9.
Jesus is fully God and fully man. But there have been many people in history that have attempted to debunk this doctrine. The Nestorian Heresy for instance tried to say that Jesus was two separate persons who were joined together in a moral union. For him there was the human Jesus, who should be worshipped, and the divine Jesus who excelled morally but who didn’t suffer the actual pains of the Cross. . It was like oil and water (similar to modern day Christian Science followers). The Council of Ephesus of 431 declared Nestorius a heretic. There is also the Monophysite Heresy which said that the humanity of Jesus had been absorbed into his divine nature and hence, His divine nature had been destroyed (similar to how Jehovah Witnesses understand Jesus). This explanation was also deemed heretical. But then, how do you explain the fact that Jesus is fully God and fully man? How do you try to comprehend such an enormous mystery? Well, today, we will explore the doctrine of the “Hypostatic Union” which explains the properties and attributes of Jesus, fully divine and fully human. Let’s study question 48 of The Heidelberg Catechism.
The doctrine of the Hypostatic Union relates to the communication of properties. It is the teaching that attributes both the divine and the human natures to the one person of Jesus. Jesus was not half God and half man combined. He is fully God and fully man.
Now, understanding Jesus as man is not difficult because we see in The Bible over and over again, His humanity. See 1 John 4:2, 2 John 7, Luke 2:7, Gal 4:4, John 4:6, John 19:28, Matthew 4:2, Matthew 8:10, John 11:35. We see Jesus as a man, who displayed his humanity in being tired, thirst, hungry, experiencing awe, sorrow, etc.
Now understanding Jesus as God is not difficult either as we see in The Bible over and over again, His divinity. See John 1:1, John 1:14, Luke 3:22, Matthew 2:2, Matthew 11, Hebrews 1:8, John 21:17, Col. 2:9 etc. We see that Jesus was called God, Son of God, was prayed to and worshipped, has the fullness of deity, is sinless, knows all things, etc. All attributes of God.
So we understand the two natures as distinct. And they are. But this does not mean that Jesus is two different persons or that one nature altered the other, nor that both natures mixed to create a new nature, nor that Jesus was one or the other at different times. Jesus is only one person with two natures: a divine nature and a human nature, united in one person forever. To this fact, The Bible is clear. Jesus was two natures but one Person. Both natures exist in the one and only person of Jesus fully, without altering each other.
Jesus never spoke of himself as we but rather as I. We have a wide array of passages that clearly point to His different natures and always talk about the same one Jesus. Jesus Christ is fully God and fully man.
So what does this mean for your life today, dear sister? Well it means that as you get to know Jesus in His fullness as God as man, your awe, marvel and worship for Him will increase. You can trust that He can in fact “sympathize with our weaknesses because He was tempted as we are, yet without sin” (Heb. 4:15). He felt the same sorrow and the same joy that you and I experience today. He was tempted as we are. He is able to fully understand our circumstances because He is fully human. But that’s not all. You can also trust that He is the only one that can fully pardon our sins. He is in fact our adequate Savior. You and I, dear sister, can rest assured that because Jesus is God, our salvation is firm. Isn’t this astounding? May the depth of your knowledge of Jesus increase so that your worship of Him may increase too.