Fully God, Fully Man

 

I often think about Jesus and what He might be like as He dwells in heaven. I know He sits at the throne of His Father. I know He is continuously praying/interceding for us at the right hand of His Father, fulfilling the office of high priest. Both facts stated in Scripture. (See Heb 7:3 and 7:17 where Jesus is described as being a priest forever.)

But I often think about His appearance: what does He look like? Does He dress like He did when He was on earth? Does He have a closer relationship with certain “special” saints in heaven than with other, lesser saints (special saints like the apostles, for example)?

I came across an article written by a pastor, David Mathis, of Desiring God Ministries. Mathis was discussing Jesus ministry on earth in the context of John 1:14; that “…the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us….” As Mathis so strikingly puts it: “His humanity isn’t a costume…[He] didn’t simply make a cameo [appearance] in the created world.” And Mathis then concluded, “He forever joined our humanity to His divinity and for all eternity will be fully God and fully man.” That got me thinking about what will Jesus do/look like/act like in His form as fully man.

Mathis supports his conclusion by citing Acts 1:9-11 whereby two men in white robes appeared and spoke to Jesus’ disciples and explained that Jesus was being taken to heaven and “will come [back] in just the same way….” I had always read that to mean Jesus will return from the clouds in the same way as He ascended into them. Further, I conjoined this passage in Acts with verses 19:11-16 of Revelation where Jesus appears on a white horse with a robe dipped in blood. Verse 19:11 describes heaven being “opened” and Jesus appearing on a horse, which is consistent with the Acts passage cited above.

In making his case that Jesus is fully man, Mathis cites Phil 2:7-8 where Jesus is described as being “in the likeness of men.” In addition, Scripture points out that our citizenship is in heaven (Phil 3:20-21) and that Jesus will “…transform our lowly body to be like His glorious body….” Thus, Mathis concludes, Jesus still has a “body,” albeit a “glorious” one. And, of course, that immediately led me to think of Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration noted in Mt 17:2 where Jesus’ robe glowed with a white light and His face shone like the sun.

And what of our Lord’s wounds received on the Cross; does He still display them on His body in heaven? Listen if you will to a song by The Florida Boys called “The Scars in the Hands of Jesus.” And the great British preacher, C.H. Spurgeon, in one of his sermons described Christ in heaven wearing these [wounds] as His ornaments. “The wounds of Christ are His glories…His precious things.” Frankly, the Bible does not make it clear whether Christ retained His wounds after He ascended into heaven (John 20:25-29 describes Jesus after the resurrection but prior to the ascension). For myself, I believe Jesus will retain those wounds for eternity. They are explicit evidence of His great love for us, a love that endures day after day, year after year, one saved Christian after another until He comes again.

By:  Lee Pierce