Recently we published a small book on the humanity of Jesus Christ entitled, How Jesus Was Like Us. This book was written to both identify how Jesus Christ in His humanity is like us and how He is different. Here is a brief summary:
Jesus came face-to-face with the root of our problem. The Savior of man came to the very spot where sin had taken the place of self-sacrificing love. The greatest battle we have to fight is against selfishness. Jesus fought that battle every day (Matthew 16:24; 1 Corinthians 15:31). The will of Christ was just like yours and mine. He did not naturally want the cross. His will shrunk from God’s will for Him as decidedly as yours and mine do (Matthew 26:39, 42, 44). In this way, Jesus was just like us, but He was far more than us. Unlike you and me, Jesus always denied His own will and chose to do His Father’s will. He denied Himself and revealed the other centered love of God. Jesus was always obedient to God, He was sinless, holy and undefiled by sin. And being so, He recoiled from the sins that attract us. Hating sin and loving God, He crucified the natural self-will.
The Savior of man came to the very spot where sin had taken the place of self-sacrificing love.
The humanity that Jesus took possessed the root of the sin problem—self-will. And taking that humanity, Jesus overcame the self-centered human will on our behalf, crushing our selfishness by ever submitting His human will to God. In this sense, all were crucified in Christ because Christ took upon Himself the “self-will” of all mankind.
“For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh” (Romans 8:3).
As a man, Christ trusted God’s will for His life no matter how crucifying it was to His human nature. This trustful surrender of Christ’s humanity to God restored in fallen human nature the full image of God (because this was the very nature Christ took upon Himself). In Christ, fallen human nature stood victorious over selfishness. Christ’s victory, gifted to us through faith, is the essence of our salvation. This victory over the flesh of “self-will” is a gift given to all who will receive it by faith.
Our Savior longs for every person to receive and know the forgotten joy of this salvation from self. Take hold of the fact that Christ loves you more than Himself. Let this love infuse every fiber of your being and you will know the true joy of other-centered living.