“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John 1:1
What are words, anyway? Words are how we express ourselves, how we let others know what is going on in our minds, how we reveal to other people the essence of our characters.
Jesus is the Word of God. Jesus is God revealing Himself to humanity, in a form we can understand and to whom we can relate.
God, who is all-wise, knows that it is difficult to love what we do not know. Because of our limited intellects, humans are not equipped to grasp the magnitude of God’s infinite power and glory. We will only see God face-to-face in heaven. To do so while still in a mortal body, would mean immediate death. The shock of wonder and awe would be too overwhelming for a mortal body to withstand.
Jesus, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, came to earth as a human baby, to show us what God is like, in a form we could understand and to whom we could relate. God desires love from His creatures, so He came as a baby.
Everyone loves a baby; no one is afraid of a baby. Most people are anxious to approach the little one and show some sign of love: a hug, a kiss or a cuddle. This is our human way of showing affection, and Jesus, in the form of a child, welcomed all sincere visitors, from the poor shepherds to the wealthy Magi, just as He welcomes people of goodwill who approach Him today.
On earth, Jesus had a complete human nature. He got hungry, tired, angry and endured temptation, just as we do. He was betrayed by one of his close friends, another denied knowing Him. He was beaten, whipped, and suffered an agonizing, shameful death. As He hung dying on the cross, none of the Apostles, except John, were anywhere in sight. Jesus even felt that His heavenly Father had forsaken Him.
Jesus died on that cross on Good Friday. Because He was fully human, He was able to represent us and bear the punishment for all of our sins. Because He was fully divine, His sacrifice was sufficient to atone for all the sins that humans would ever commit. To have a Friend who is willing to die in your place is a rare privilege indeed.
Jesus wants to be our closest Friend. Whatever we suffer in life, He will understand and sympathize because He knows from experience just how physically, emotionally and spiritually difficult life on earth can be. However, Jesus’ story doesn’t end with His physical death.
On Easter, He rose from the dead, proving His divinity. He remained with His human friends physically for forty days before returning to His Father and our Father in heaven.
Jesus is fully God and fully human. He has two complete natures: the nature of God and the nature of man. As God, He reigns with the Father and the Holy Spirit forever in heaven. As Man, He sits at the right hand of the Father and intercedes for us as we proceed on our earthly journey.
We can take comfort in the words He spoke to His friends as He returned to heaven on Ascension Day:
“And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:20
Incidentally, Jesus does not force His presence on anyone but if you seek Him and invite Him to be your Friend, you’ll find Him as near as your next heartbeat.