There were two discrete purposes for the incarnation of Christ. The Messianic purpose related to His office. He was Israel’s king born of a virgin, yet who came with kingly rights as a fulfillment of the Davidic Covenant.
The second purpose fulfilled the Abrahamic Covenant which was a redemptive and mediatorial office for all men. Note in these purposes that they are not only independent; they are entirely different in their objectives.
The late Lewis Sperry Chafer wrote, “it was equally true that by the incarnation the Mediator between God and man is provided with all the inexhaustible blessing which the theanthropic [the doctrine that humanity and divinity are united in Christ] Mediator secures” (Chafer, Systematic Theology, vol. 1, Kregel Publications, 1976).
Therefore the virgin birth also brings forth the Kinsman-Redeemer through this hypostatic union of humanity and divinity found only in Jesus Christ, allowing the Second Person of the trinity to reclaim the lost estate of fallen man while simultaneously drawing the Church, His Bride, to Himself. Nevertheless the resultant of these two objectives in the facts of the incarnation is common to both purposes.
Interestingly enough these widely diverse objectives are manifest in Messiah’s death and resurrection. His death was a stumbling block to the Jews (1 Cor. 1: 23), but Jesus’ death was not part of Christ’s kingly office over Israel. However this paved the way for the individual Jew who would come to Christ by faith.
Though a stumbling block for Israel, Christ’s tortuous death on the cruel Roman cross was efficacious for His Bride the Church. But the real power of Christ’s work is in the resurrection, which initiated the New Creation.
The good news for the believer in the resurrection of Christ on this Easter, in the year 2010, is unchanged. That is that Christ is in every believer and every believer is in the resurrected Christ. This relationship was stated by Christ in His High Priestly Prayer, found in John 17. Jesus in verses 21 through 23 articulated this special relationship with His disciples:
“may all [believers] be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me. The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me” (NASB).
He is Risen; He is Risen indeed!
(This study adapted from Lewis Sperry Chafer, Systematic Theology, vol. 1)