“Like cold water to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country.” —Proverbs 25:25
The Son, who was sent forth by the Father to redeem us (John 1:14-18), is none other than the One who eternally enjoyed communion with the Father (John 1:1, 18). Not only that, but he also fulfilled all the Father’s will with every breath he took from the moment he was conceived to the very second he died. The good news of the Gospel is that when that faithful Son became man, his communion with the Father became incarnate, and along with his incarnation perfect obedience to the Father permanently lodged itself within the human race. In the incarnate Son, thirst-quenching communion with the Father and perfect obedience to His holy will burst into the far country of our alienation from the Father (see Luke 15:13 and Proverbs 25:25).
Through the incarnation, Jesus (who is fully God and fully man in his one Person) became not merely the means but the place—the locale—where communion with and obedience to the Father happens in all its unimaginable fullness. It is only in the Person of Christ that God and man finally meet in loving communion. The understated good news of the gospel is that the humanity of Jesus has become our communion with and obedience to his Father. Only in Jesus can true radical obedience and unending loving communion be found.
The Son of God came into the far country of our estrangement, not as an outsider or a detached observer, but as a true man among men, like us in every respect yet without sin (Hebrews 2:17; 4:15). James B. Torrance explains it this way:
Christ does not heal us by standing over against us, diagnosing our sickness, prescribing medicine for us to take, and then going away, to leave us to get better by obeying his instructions—as an ordinary doctor might. No, he becomes the patient! He assumes that very humanity which is in need of redemption, and by being anointed by the Spirit in our humanity, by a life of perfect obedience for us, by dying and rising again, our humanity is healed in him.
By being “born of a woman” (Galatians 4:4), the Son of God journeyed into the far country that he might heal us of our estrangement and conflict with God from within his own Person. Jesus wasn’t merely the means of our reconciliation. He was the Place of our reconciliation to the Father. As soon as Jesus was conceived by the Spirit in the virgin womb of Mary, the healing and sanctifying of our humanity began. When Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life” (John 11:25), he was not merely referring to what he was about to do with Lazarus in the tomb, nor to what he would eventually do in his death and resurrection, but to the entirety of his incarnate life. Jesus was the Resurrection and the Life from the moment he was conceived in the virgin womb all the way to his resurrection from the dead and forever beyond. It was from that very moment that he began to heal and sanctify our humanity—to progressively bring his resurrection power to bear upon all our inability, estrangement and disobedience—from the inside out.
By being “born under the law” (Galatians 4:4), Jesus lived out a life of perfect communion with the Father in our place, as our substitute. What we did not do in the Garden of Eden—lovingly obey and commune with the Father—and what we do not do now, Jesus did for us in the far country outside the Garden in his incarnate Person that he might bring us home to the Father in himself. Jesus’ humanity has become the place of our communion with God. In his humanity, Jesus actually became Eden restored and expanded for us. By virtue of his union with us and our subsequent union with him by the Spirit, we are amazingly and wonderfully brought to participate in his very own knowing of the Father. The almost-too-good-to-be-true good news of the Gospel is that Jesus is where our live-giving, life-changing, thirst-quenching communion with the Father happens, and Jesus is the only place where it happens.
To read more on the life-giving, life-changing, thirst-quenching good news of communion with the Father, here are a few books you should get:
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