In church on a recent Sunday our pastor gave us a good reminder. He emphasized the dual nature of Jesus: fully God and fully man—what is called the hypostatic union—which is completely incomprehensible to us. We can understand half of one and half of the other, but 100% of both? Does that make sense in a world of mathematical logic?
Nevertheless, the Bible teaches us that Jesus was just that. It’s what makes Him qualified to be our Savior. Only a man could be punished for the sin of mankind; only God could have conceived of this incredible sacrifice and done it in the first place. All this got me to thinking…
It’s the human side of Jesus that I want to briefly discuss in this essay starting with Acts 7:54-56 which sets the stage:
Now when they heard these things they were enraged, and they ground their teeth at him. But he, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. And he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.”
We all know this well. Stephen has raised the ire of the Jews by his witness of Jesus. They’re so convicted they can’t stand it and rush at him in a mad frenzy, stoning him to death. At the moment before his life here on earth extinguishes, Stephen has the incredible sight of Jesus, as a man, standing in heaven beside the Father and welcoming him home.
The favorite term Jesus used for Himself was Son of Man. No doubt the purpose was to drive home this aspect of his nature: 100% Son of God; 100% Son of Man. Jesus entered this world as a human being, born of a virgin. He lived as a human, and He died on the cross as a human. Then He rose as a human and as a glorified man stood at the right hand of God as God. During His sojourn on earth as a man, He was also fully God. Mind blowing.
As a man, He was composed of flesh, bones, and blood. He shed His blood on the cross in atoning for our sins. Life is in the blood (Leviticus 17:13). Jesus had to have the blood of a man to sacrifice and atone for us as He did.
Interestingly, after Jesus rose and appeared the first time to the disciples, Thomas wasn’t present. Despite an earlier declaration of faith that he would die with Jesus (John 11:16), this time he doubts. He won’t believe until he himself sees the risen Jesus. Jesus does Thomas one better by appearing again and urging him to touch the nail holes in His hands and put his hands into the gaping spear wound in His side. Then Thomas believes.
But look at this: Jesus has these holes in His body. If you’ve ever been around someone with serious wounds, you know how carefully doctors treat them today. With large wounds, because they don’t heal easily, they often use a wound vac to pull out the moisture. It’s a long process. Infection can easily set in. Yet here was Jesus with these wounds and no such aftereffects. He has a big hole in His side, but no evidence of blood or weeping in the wound, let alone any issues with the robustness of Jesus.
Why is this? The reason is that He has been glorified. His body has changed from one with flesh, bones, and blood. But to what? Here’s the key question for me: Does Jesus in this glorified state still have blood?
I propose that He did not and does not. Remember, His body now is of a spiritual nature. Do angels have blood? I think blood is a unique characteristic of life on earth, but it’s not in the heavenlies.
If that premise is true, what does that mean about Jesus once He became glorified? What does that mean for us as believers who are Raptured and are changed in an instant? At that moment, the Bible says we will be like Jesus (1 John 3:2). The analogy is of the transformation of a seed that dies in the ground and becomes something entirely new.
If Jesus no longer has blood flowing through His veins, does He have anything like that in His glorified body? Is there something that brings life? What if He indeed has something that animates Him in this spiritual, yet somehow human, state,? If it’s not blood, what is it? I suggest that it’s the living Spirit of God.
The Holy Spirit at our salvation comes to live inside each believer. That’s an amazing mystery in itself. The Spirit in the Bible is described as living water. What if at the point of our glorification when we become spiritual beings like Jesus, that it is this living water, this Spirit of the living God, which now flows through our veins?
Wouldn’t that explain a lot of the mystery? Jesus has no blood, yet he is flesh and bone. He is alive and transformed into something beyond our ability to comprehend. We will be like Him. We will likewise be flesh and bone. But something has to animate us to give us life.
In Ezekiel’s Valley of Dry Bones (Ezekiel 37), what happened? The bones came together with flesh, but they had no life. Only when the Spirit of the living God came upon them and in them did they have life.
If this hypothesis is correct that we are filled with the Holy Spirit literally as our lifeblood when we’re glorified, this has another future ramification. The question is asked, “What will keep man—even in a glorified state—from choosing to sin in the future and rebel against God? If the Holy Spirit is within us as our very lifeblood, wouldn’t that reduce, if not eliminate, any inclination on our part to disobey God (besides, of course, a voluntary and overwhelming desire to completely please God)?
Obviously, none of what I suggest can be proven at this time. We’ll have to wait for when we come face-to-face with our Lord and Savior to understand this mystery more fully, when we become what we shall be. However, the idea makes more real what is sung in the song “No Longer Slaves” when it says:
… You have chosen me
Love has called my name
I’ve been born again, into a family
Your blood flows through my veins.