Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Miraculous Hypostatic Union

We had the honor of seeing Dr. Robert Gromacki of Cedarville College at Bayside Community Church on Sunday, December 27, 2009.
In the first session, he taught us about the Hypostatic Union of Christ. No one else, living or dead, has had this miraculous aspect of being. Jesus Christ alone had a true and perfect humanity, as well as the full divinity of God Almighty.
Hypo comes from the Greek root "Huppo," which means "under."
Static, also from the Greek root,"stasis," which means "stands."
One would think it means understand, but it actually means Christ stands under two entirely different natures: Humanity AND Deity.
Christ had a miraculous conception and birth. As Dr. Gromacki pointed out, a virgin bride could conceive the first time she experiences physical love with her husband, so a virgin conception isn't actually a miracle. However, the miracle of Christ's conception is that His mother had no interaction with a man. She was as pure as the driven snow, even when she brought forth her first born son. It was a natural birth--Christ didn't levitate out of Mary's womb. Jesus shows the Hypostatic Union even in his birth: normal delivery, yet divine, being born of a virgin.
He had normal human development. Although the Bible doesn't reveal anything about his childhood, we know he went to Jerusalem at the age of twelve with his family. In His human nature, he joined in familial rituals, yet in His Divinity, He taught Scripture in the temple as a boy. He had normal human experiences: birth, love, grief, joy, temptation, anger, pain, and death.
But they were transcended by His divine nature. He loved his friend Lazarus and grieved at his passing...before raising him from the dead. He was tempted by the devil, yet rebuked each temptation with Scripture. The den of thieves in the temple angered Him, and again He used Scripture to support turning over the tables. He suffered pain and an agonizing death as a human, but as God He is risen (He is risen, indeed!).
Christ is a theanthropic person. Another lesson in Greek: Theo = God, and thropic = man. Make no mistake, Jesus is not a man who achieved Godness, He is God in the flesh.
He has two natures, but is not two separate people. It doesn't mean He's schizophrenic. He has two different kinds of consciousness: Divine and human. As man, He hungered. As God, He created bread. His two natures weren't altered by their union within Him. God doesn't change in His basic essence. He didn't give up His attributes to become flesh.
Both divine and human characteristics can be attributed to Jesus under any of His names or titles, whether divine or human.
The Union of the two natures was not changed by His death and resurrection. He still bears the scars of the cross.
He manifested both natures at a single event; such as when He when the woman with a hemorrhage sought healing from Him, but He had to ask, "Who touched My robe?" As God, He felt the power leave Him, but as human, didn't know who had taken it.
I signed up with Compass Ministry years ago to receive their daily Good Morning, Lord messages. They had a mini-Bible study on this same topic on 12-24-09. Here is their explanation of Hypostatic Union:
MINI BIBLE STUDY FOR THE DAY One of the most interesting doctrines in the Bible is that of Jesus being 100 percent God, and at the same time being 100 percent man (referred to as "hypostatic union"). None of us has ever seen Deity -- we only know what we read in scripture. Nor have we seen perfect humanity -- we only know what we read about in the Bible about pre-fallen Adam and our Lord. So it is somewhat difficult to grasp the fact that Jesus retained all His divine attributes while possessing all human attributes. His humanity is also seen in these verses: Matt. 4:2 "And after He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He then became hungry." John 19:28 ". . . Jesus . . . said, 'I am thirsty.'" My only concern with their opinion is referring to Jesus as 100% man. There is one aspect of humanity that Jesus didn't carry, and that is sin. That doesn't make him 98% man (or more correctly, 2% man). It means that Jesus is 100% God and 100% perfect man. In the second session, Dr. Gromacki discussed "Why Was the Incarnation Necessary?"
Stay tuned...that will be the next topic of discussion.

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