Jesus entered into our humanity so that we could partake of His divinity. This is why the Incarnation is so important. When Jesus dying on a cross becomes the focal point with the lens of a certain bias the wholeness of God’s work gets missed.
In some parts of Christianity the cross is the central theme. The cross is Jesus forgiving the sins of humanity and without the cross it is assumed Jesus could not forgive humanity’s sins. The problem with this is that Jesus was forgiving sins before he was ever killed on a cross.
Jesus forgives sins because God simply forgives sins. It is His nature to do so. He does not need legal transactions of blood in order to forgive people. Rightfully (and wrongfully) so, this gets confusing for many because Scripture seems to imply a legal understanding of the cross and this is often because the mindset of the writers of Scripture lived inside of a culture that was heavily influenced by legal transaction thinking with their traditions and history of animal/temple sacrifice. Jesus was trying to set them free from this legal understanding.
Jesus entering into the dysfunctional system of law & sacrifice and fulfilling its demands was not Jesus endorsing the legal system of law and sacrifice. What I just said is one of the most important truths for people to understand. Just because writers of Scripture were writing about Jesus fulfilling such demands does not mean they were endorsing that system but it gives the appearance of doing so when the veil of that old system remains over the understanding of those who read it. Jesus was freeing people from that understanding and was trying to get them to see God’s original intentions. To them this thing that Jesus would seem to be doing was something NEW. This is why people called it a New and Better Covenant, which was covenant language their culture understood.
When we first see the incarnation as God entering into our humanity so that we can partake of His life, we will begin to take the right steps forward to understanding the rest of the story. God is for us and near to us and wants us to partake of His life together with His Father and Holy Spirit. This divine life in the lives of people goes far above the demands of any law because this life naturally fulfills the meaning of life itself as God’s nature of Love flows in and through us when we relate to God personally in mutual intimacy. Here is how an author of Scripture beautifully put it:
“Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.” -2 Peter 1:2-4
Through Jesus we partake of God’s divine nature, which gives us the ability to forgive sins without the requirement of blood. This then leads us to understand the cross from the better perspective of what the cross actually revealed. I have written about this elsewhere but basically the cross revealed the depths of God’s love to enter into humanity’s deepest darkness in order to set them free from it, while simultaneously exposing the dead end cycle in much of humanity’s desire to rule the world through law, violence, and death.
God never wanted us to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil because He knew we would inevitably call evil good and good evil. He knew we would then be left to live in self-righteous categories instead of living in the wonder of Love that flows from the life of God. God’s love will love the evilest of humanity onto His own death whereas humans who call evil good will kill an evil person in the name of good. You can see why living without God’s nature we are left to our own judgments that cause large planks to form in our eyes that will blind us from partaking of His divine nature and would further cause dysfunction in our world in the name of good.
(I have also previously written on how Jesus being positioned on the cross between 2 criminals was Jesus redeeming humanity from their addiction to the knowledge of good and evil. The cross was also known as a tree. One criminal mocked Jesus, thus he continued to eat from the tree of good and evil and the other believed in Jesus and went to Paradise that day because he was actually eating from the Tree of Life who is Jesus Himself. Remember the famous words of Jesus during that experience when He said, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” He would not say, “Father kill them for they are evil”, because he would not submit to humanity’s darkest desires but was actually killed by them only to be raised from the dead because God’s love is stronger than humanity’s darkest desires!”)
I hope you see in all of this that the Incarnation leads us to a better understanding of the cross, which leads us to the much larger story of God’s love and plans for the world. This also leads us to the power of His Resurrection, which further exposed the idea that death was stronger than love and revealed that love was indeed stronger than death! It can’t be said enough! Love actually cannot lose even when it appears to do so!
May Grace and Peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.