What sets biblical Christianity apart from cults and other world religions? It is the person of Jesus Christ — who He is.
Jesus really makes for an interesting study. He is God. He became flesh. He became sin for us. He died on the cross. He rose from the dead. He is now seated on the Throne.
In Hebrews 1, Jesus is shown to be the creator and the sustainer of the universe.
God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, 2 has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds;
Then we know that Jesus became flesh and dwelt among us. – Hebrews 1:1
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. – John 1:14
In coming to earth and becoming man, The Book of Philippians tells us that he “Emptied” Himself.
Who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. – Phil. 2:6-7 NASB
A lot of people are still confused about what Jesus did with His Divine nature when He became Human. For example, how could an all knowing God become a baby, how could God be tempted, or how could Jesus (being God) not know the time of His return?
The danger comes when it is concluded that in the incarnation, the second person of the Trinity took on human nature and gave up or lost some of the divine attributes — such that Jesus was not fully divine. The doctrine of the two natures of Christ (known as the hypostatic union) maintains that Jesus possessed a full undiminished human nature and a full undiminished divine nature, which were not combined or confused into some new nature but were added to each other forever (yet remaining distinct) in the one person Jesus Christ.
The question regarding the kenosis comes to this — What does it mean when Scripture says Christ “emptied” Himself? Did Jesus cease to be God during His earthly ministry? Certainly not, for deity cannot stop being deity or He would never have been true deity to begin with. Rather, the “emptying” is satisfactorily explained in the subsequent words of the verse, taking note of the two participles which grammatically modify and explain the verb: He emptied himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. This emptying, in fact, was done as the man Christ Jesus, and neither of these ideas necessitates or implies the giving up of divine attributes.
Christianity maintains that Jesus did not “empty” himself of any of his divinity in the incarnation, although it is true that his divine attributes were veiled. When the Kenosis theory concludes that Jesus is or was less than God (as has been the case in the past), it is regarded as heresy.
Today we know Jesus as the Resurrected Christ. When I went to Israel, the high point was to go to the site of the empty tomb. I wish I could bring everyone to witness for themselves that Jesus died and rose again.
Jesus has ascended into Heaven
Peter closes his testimonial with a final soaring statement about our Lord “who has gone into heaven and is at God’s right hand—with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him” (1 Peter 3. 22). In the Bible, the right hand is the position of honor and authority. To be at God’s right hand means you are in the preeminent position, the highest spot in all the universe. Christ is now in heaven because his work of redemption on earth is now complete. And by his death and resurrection, he has subjected all spiritual creatures to his sovereign power.
Jesus triumphed over sin, over death, over the demons, and he provided salvation for all who will trust in him. Today he reigns from the Father’s right hand in heaven. Someday soon he will return to reign on the earth. He is the triumphant Christ.
Pastor Chito Cordero is Senior Pastor of Word International Ministries in Los Angeles located or WIN LA at 530 Benton Way in LA CA 90057. For comments, please email him at email@example.com. or wordinternational.com.