There are many mysteries with regard to the God-Man, Christ Jesus. His theanthropic Person is exceedingly difficult to understand. One help in reading the passages referring to our Savior is to remember that whatever is predicated to Him in a given passage is always true of His Person, but may in a certain passage be speaking of either His deity or His humanity. But in any case it is true of His person because anything true of either nature is true of His person. It is true that He thirsted and was weary. It is true that He knew all things. It is true that he knew not the hour ... etc.
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Take a look at the councils of Nicaea and Chalcedon, in particular. As well, J.N.D. Kelly's book on church history has helped me understand this a whole lot better. Chalcedon was very specific. Here is something I put together awhile back on Chalcedon:
The creed of Chalcedon defined clearly the two natures of Christ, with three very important points:
1. Truly man, truly God (vere homo, vere deus)
2. The four ‘negatives’ of the creed “…without confusion, without change (Monophysite), without division, without seperation (Nestorianism)…”
3. “…the distinction of natures being in no way annulled by the union, but rather the characteristics of each nature being preserved…..”
All emphases added by me.
Council of Chalcedon (451 A.D)
Therefore, following the holy fathers, we all with one accord teach men to acknowledge one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, at once complete in Godhead and complete in manhood, truly God and truly man, consisting also of a reasonable soul and body; of one substance with the Father as regards his Godhead, and at the same time of one substance with us as regards his manhood; like us in all respects, apart from sin; as regards his Godhead, begotten of the Father before the ages, but yet as regards his manhood begotten, for us men and for our salvation, of Mary the Virgin, the God-bearer; one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, Only-begotten, recognized in two natures, without confusion, without change, without division, without separation; the distinction of natures being in no way annulled by the union, but rather the characteristics of each nature being preserved and coming together to form one person and subsistence, not as parted or separated into two persons, but one and the same Son and Only-begotten God the Word, Lord Jesus Christ; even as the prophets from earliest times spoke of him, and our Lord Jesus Christ himself taught us, and the creed of the fathers has handed down to us.
I believe the human nature perished on the cross and the divine nature was united to a corpse. Dr. Sinclair Ferguson has laid this out in a Ligonier conference in 2004 A Portrait of God.
Member, Westminster OPC, Indian Head Park
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