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Jesus the Prototype

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Monday, July 08, 2024 @ 11:43 AM Jesus the Prototype Dr. Matt Ayars Pastor and former president of Wesley Biblical Seminary MORE

The revelation of Jesus Christ…” (Rev. 1:1)

I loathe assembling box furniture. So many parts. Screws, nuts, bolts, furniture pieces (that are, of course, very very fragile), tools, sitting on the floor, legs falling asleep in a space that’s not nearly big enough to assemble this cheap piece of furniture.

One of the most frustrating parts of assembling box furniture is following the instructions. They are usually written by a non-English speaking corporation, so things get quite confusing, and often the photo instructions make things worse. 

The instructions paired with all of these small and specialized/engineered parts tells us that there is a very specific way that this thing is supposed to go together. Engineers spent time calculating, drawing, discussing, experimenting, and so forth to make sure that this piece of furniture arrives at the design and build the way they intended

God had a very specific design in mind for humanity when he created Adam and Eve. These humans were special among the other things He created because they would represent Him. These humans would be His replicas; His image bearers. They would bear witness to the nature of God. They would put on display God’s goodness and love for all to see.

When they sinned, this went sideways.

Rather than being like the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in perfect, loving, holy communion, they did the opposite: they rebelled. They turned against their Creator. 

This rebellion, then distorted the image of God AND the image of humanity. 

Now that humans can’t help but sin (i.e., the doctrine of original sin), we really don’t know what humans were ORIGINALLY supposed to look like! We’ve been lost on the original design. We look around at all the other sinful humans in the world and just assume—because this is all there is—that sinfulness is the norm. “This must be what humans are and therefore what God intended.”

The reality is that we have become bent, crooked, and damaged…a far cry from the prototype…

This is where Jesus comes in. Jesus is the corrective. Jesus, as the perfect man, the true Adam, Jesus reveals what humanity was always intended to be by God. Jesus matches the prototype exactly because he is the prototype. As Jesus obeys His Father every step of the way, and even freely gives Himself over to die for His enemies out of love, I can almost hear the Father in heaven shouting “YES! THIS is what I intended for humanity! Perfect, loving obedience and unbroken fellowship!”

We must remember that Jesus isn’t just fully God, he’s also FULLY HUMAN. This is right Christology as revealed in Scripture and affirmed by the early church. We normally think that Jesus was a superhuman because of his miracles that came as a privilege of being divine. This isn’t the case. Scripture tells us that Jesus gave up the privileges of being God so that He could become fully human (Phil. 2:5–7). The source of Jesus’s power was His complete dependency on the Holy Spirit (just as the book of Acts testifies that Christians are able to perform the same miracles by depending on the Holy Spirit).

In sum, Jesus is a promise of what we can become (not in divinity, but in our humanity). Jesus is the picture of what God intended for all of us in our humanity: perfectly unified with the Father, resisting temptation, and having perfect love for God, neighbor, and even enemies. 

In this way, as Jesus reveals what humanity was always supposed to be, Jesus is the great revealer.

Don’t measure yourself against others and the ethics of the secular world, they are not the prototype. Measure yourself against Jesus and the ethics of the kingdom of God set forth in Scripture. Jesus’s instructions are immensely clear. He plainly says, “Follow me…” (Matt. 16:24–26). Will you?

(Editor's Note: This blog was posted first HERE.)

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