Fully Human and Something Else

It is not to angels that he has subjected the world to come, about which we are speaking.  But there is a place where someone has testified:
“What is mankind that you are mindful of them,
    a son of man that you care for him?
You made them a little lower than the angels;
    you crowned them with glory and honor
    and put everything under their feet.”
In putting everything under them, God left nothing that is not subject to them.  Yet at present we do not see everything subject to them.  But we do see Jesus, who was made lower than the angels for a little while, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.
In bringing many sons and daughters to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through what he suffered.  Both the one who makes people holy and those who are made holy are of the same family.  So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters.  He says,
“I will declare your name to my brothers and sisters;
    in the assembly I will sing your praises.”
And again,
“I will put my trust in him.”
And again he says,
“Here am I, and the children God has given me.”
Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil—and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.  For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham’s descendants.  For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people.  Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

  • Hebrews 2:5-18

“We were made to be neither cerebral men nor visceral men, but Men. Not beasts nor angels but Men — things at once rational and animal.”

  • C. S. Lewis, The Pilgrim’s Regress

“Humans are amphibians — half spirit and half animal…As spirits they belong to the eternal world, but as animals they inhabit time.”

  • C. S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

Jesus Christ is fully human and fully God.  God made us in His image.  This is not a physical image as much as it is that we are meant for more than just living our three score and ten (70 years; Psalm 90:10), although life expectancy is beyond that these days.  We were intended to be immortal creatures, but due to the fall of Man, we must suffer a physical death.  Our soul is eternal.  Our soul will live beyond death, and we will all face judgment.

C. S. Lewis expresses this odd combination within us in two different ways.  In The Pilgrim’s Regress he says that we are both rational and animal.  We are mammals in that we give live birth, have hairy bodies, at least in some places and some people more than others, and other factors.  Yet, we can think.  I have mentioned in other posts where we have not been using that thinking much of late, but we all have that capability.

Now in The Screwtape Letters, C. S. Lewis speaks of the soul, where we are half spirit and half animal.  It is not just that we can make rational decisions while the other animals work from a system of instinct.  We also have a soul and thus are spiritual beings, in the image of God.

Adam and Eve chose to violate God’s rules in the Garden of Eden.  They wanted more than what they had, and God removed what they had in the Garden.  Yet, with that knowledge of “good and evil,” we must make the choice – to live like Jesus or to live as we please.

This choice is of the utmost importance.

Soli Deo Gloria.  Only to God be the Glory.

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