* Image of God (Gen. 1:26-28; Eph. 4:17-24; cf. Heb. 2:5-18) â€“ In the beginning, God dwelled with man created in His Image. Adam was not â€œGod in the fleshâ€ but he was â€œlike God in the fleshâ€, and he enjoyed the â€œImmanuel presence of Godâ€ in the Garden. Man made in Godâ€™s image was not exalted and confirmed in righteousness through obedience (cf. Psa. 8; cf. Heb. 2:5ff), but sinned and rebelled against his good Heavenly Father and Supreme Lord. Man lost the Immanuel presence of God. But this is not the end of the storyâ€¦
* Seed of the Woman (Gen. 3:15) – Though man brings the curse upon Himself through sin and rebellion against God, tarnishing the image of God upon him, God promises hope for the future. This reveals Godâ€™s graciousness and steadfast love toward His own. Though sin has broken the relationship, God will restore the fortunes of His people through grace (Hos. 6:1). God will dwell with His people again. God will be â€œImmanuelâ€, God with us again!
* Son of Abraham (Gen. 12) â€“ God promises to be a God to Abraham and His Offspring, and will bless the whole world through him (Gen. 12:1ff; 15:1ff). Through Abraham, God would bring a son through His supernatural working. From Abraham would come Isaac (â€œLaughterâ€ that God gives to His own because of His power and grace!), and Jacob/Israel. From Israel, God would bring forth a servant to redeem from sin and rescue His people from their enemies (Zech. 12:1ff).
* â€œGod with usâ€ in the Old Testament: Immanuel Theophanies and Christophanies â€“ God grants aÂ â€œpreludeâ€ to the Incarnation (J. Calvin) in making appearances in human form in the Old Covenant. God the Son appeared as the â€œAngel/Messenger of YHWHâ€ to Abraham (Gen. 18), Moses (Exodus 3), and Gideon and Manoah (Judges 6, 13). Throughout Israelâ€™s pilgrimage in the wilderness, the Angel of the LORD led them, fed them, blessed them, and mediated on their behalf before God (Num. 22; Judges 2:1; cf. 1 Cor. 10:1-4). These appearances are temporary, not permanent as the Incarnation will be. God through the prophets prepared Israel for one who will be a faithful Israelite, who will be obedient unto death as a faithful servant, but who will also be the LORD Himself (Isaiah 42, 49, 52-53; Zech. 9:9ff; 12:13-13:1).
* Messiah- â€œAnointed Kingâ€– God prepared Israel through a promise of a â€œMessiahâ€ or â€œAnointed Kingâ€ from Davidâ€™s offspring, who will also be the Son of Man and the LORD of glory (2 Sam. 7:12ff). â€œYour throne, O God, is forever and everâ€¦â€ (Psalm 45, 110); â€œFor unto us a child is born; unto us a Son is givenâ€¦â€ (Isaiah 9:6-7); â€œâ€¦One like a Son of manâ€¦â€ (Daniel 7:13-14; cf. Hebrews 1). True Israel awaited this â€œvisitationâ€ of God in the flesh, the One who would be her Consolation (cf. Luke 1:68; 2:25; 7:16)â€¦
* â€œThe Mystery of Godlinessâ€ (1 Tim. 3:16) – The mystery of godliness is revealed in the fullness of the times (Gal. 4:4), when God the Son was united permanently to humanity in the womb of the virgin (Luke 1:32-35); He was â€œborn of a woman, born under law, to redeemâ€¦â€ (Gal. 4:4-6). Although God the Son had appeared occasionally and temporarily, now God would come permanently in the flesh â€œâ€¦And the Word was made flesh and dwelt in our midstâ€¦â€ (John 1:1-3, 14). All of the Old Testament is about Jesus Christ, HIs life, death, resurrection and ascension. All of the Old Testament revealed â€œâ€¦Things Concerning Himself [Jesus Christ]â€ (Luke 24:25-27; John 5:39). Though this had been â€œkept secretâ€¦[it has now] been made knownâ€¦â€ (Romans 16:25-27). This reminds us of the Deus Revelatus/Deus Absconditus-way (God is revealed/God is hidden) Â that God chooses to make Himself known progressively throughout redemptive history. The â€œmysteryâ€ is that it was revealed in the Old Covenant, but not as clearly revealed as it would be when Christ Jesus would come to make full sense of it all by His Spirit (â€œIn the Old concealed, in the New revealedâ€¦,â€ Augustine).
* Creation Restored (Rev. 21-22) – God dwells with Man as Glorified Man forever and ever. The Son of God became flesh to live perfectly on our behalf, to die in our place for our sins, to be raised for our vindication, and to be exalted at Prophet, Priest, and King at Godâ€™s right hand! Through Jesusâ€™ perfect and completed work, the restoration of all things has begun. Though now we suffer in and with Him, we shall be glorified in and with Him, too! (Rom. 6:1-11; 8:29). This glorious appearing we await with patience and eagerness, living holy lives for Him in service to God and one another! Rejoice, the LORD is Come!! (Tit. 2:11-14). * I am grateful for Graham Colesâ€™ book â€˜The God Who became Humanâ€™ for many insights! (IVP, 2013).
Westminster Shorter Catechism Q&A 21:Â Who is the Redeemer of God’s elect? A. The only Redeemer of God’s elect is the Lord Jesus Christ,(1) who, being the eternal Son of God, became man,(2) and so was, and continueth to be, God and man in two distinct natures, and one person, for ever.(3) (1)1 Tim. 2:5,6. (2)John 1:14; Gal. 4:4. (3)Rom. 9:5; Luke 1:35; Col. 2:9; Heb. 7:24,25.
In Christâ€™s love,