“Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death—even death on a cross.” – Philippians 2:5-8
The church proclaims that Jesus Christ is the incarnate Son of God, the second person of the Trinity. This means that Jesus is fully human and fully divine. In other words, to put this in an equation would look like this: 100% human + 100% divine = 100% Jesus. Theologians for centuries have been trying to figure out how to explain this amazing mystery of the faith.
During the season of Lent, we follow Christ through the wilderness. It was in the wilderness when Christ’s humanity is on center stage. In the wilderness Jesus endured the common human experience of temptation and yet did not sin. This is a powerful and comforting truth (see Hebrews 4:14-16). The experience of Jesus in the wilderness raises an important question for us, “What does it mean to be human?”
We are more than the blood and bone that construct our bodies. We are more than the hunger pains we know and the weariness we feel at the end of a long day. The Lenten season does remind us that part of being human is that from dust we came and to dust we shall return. But when we read between the dusty lines we see that God has made us so much more. We are more than the grass that is here today and gone tomorrow. Psalm 8 says,
“What is humanity that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor. You made them rulers over the works of your hands; you put everything under their feet” – Psalm 8:4-6
Christ shows us what the Psalmist was talking about. Because of God’s great love for us we are more than skin and cells, more than hair and muscle. To be human is to be beloved and empowered by God.