By S.C. Shaw
I speak with many people asking lots of questions about God and the Bible. I love it. One question I’ve heard a lot is “Why Did God Have to Come as a Baby?” Have you ever thought about that? Maybe you have always struggled with this truth. Maybe you don’t believe it to be true at all? God has always been very intentional about how He works. He never just acts or speaks without great wisdom and intentionality. Obviously, He’s God. Maybe you’re asking, why couldn’t God just have spoken forgiveness over our sin and not have to deal with all the Old Testament sacrifices and then sending Jesus (Himself) to die for us? I’ve thought about a lot. All good questions.
Let’s go back to the beginning. That’s right “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth”. The first verse of the Bible says a lot. One of the things we get from it is that God, is the creator, He was before the beginning, He works outside of His creation and He is the only God. Why does this matter? Because, in order to break down truths we need to understand who we are talking about. Right away we see that God is big, powerful, trustworthy and knows what He’s doing. He created everything good and then man with his ability to choose (which God gave as a gift to man), broke the relationship with Him. Now God is unable to be with His loved creation, ever. God cannot be with darkness because He is light. God is pure holiness and purity. Light and dark cannot dwell in the same room. But God being rich in love and mercy wanted to be with His children. So, God made a plan to be able to redeem His people in this life as well as for the life to come.
We often lose the point of sin and how big it is. Sin broke our fellowship with our creator. The only thing bigger and more powerful than that is God Himself. And sin is such a big deal it can only be dealt with by the shedding of blood. Why? Because sin brings death. Sin broke our connection with God which would have to ultimately lead us to an eternity without Him, which by definition is hell. A life separate from God is no life at all. God has no plan for His children to be separated from Him for eternity. In fact, He has planned the exact opposite of that. Since sin brings death, death is the only way to atone for sin. Therefore, we get multitude of sin offerings in the Old Testament. God commands and tells His people how to make temporal atonement for their sins. But all this is to foreshadow the coming of Christ. The perfect and final sacrifice which is God Himself. Why did it have to be God? Because no one could take on the sin of the world nor is able to live a life as a man and yet sinless. Only God can pull all that off.
In Gods perfect timing, He comes in the form of a man called “Yeshua”. Born of a virgin, undefiled in anyway. This man is 100% man and 100% God. Then again in Gods perfect timing, Yeshua starts His ministry at the age of 30. He proves Himself to be worthy to take our sin and death. He is crucified 3 years later, is raised by God 3 days later, reveals Himself to 100’s of people and then ascends to the Father in heaven. Now Yeshua (Jesus) sits at the right hand of the Father because the work of paying for sin is done. Now He is praying for His children. Christ being man knows all the temptation we know as weak sinful flesh and yet He is and was without sin. He is the only One worthy to take on our sin.
To sum up. We needed the full revelation of God and fulfilled promises from the Old Testament to take the fullness of sin away for good. Here are some other options that would not have worked. God coming and displaying His power in another way to forgive sin wouldn’t have worked because there needs to be bloodshed and death to cover sin. God would be unjust to just take sin away. Sin by definition is anything that is against God. That’s a big deal. So, that wouldn’t work because God can’t die nor does He have a body to shed blood. Another option, God comes as a grown man and still lives a perfect life and still is able to die and shed His blood for sin. Because God wouldn’t have been able to lead a perfect life, He would’ve only lived a perfect few year. Instead, He had a foundation and family on earth from birth. An earthy background that helped in His ministry and to make much of the power of God in His life. Plus, one of the greatest mysteries is how Jesus was 100% man and 100% God while on earth. That would be untrue if He came as a grown man. For Christ to represent and die for sinners, He needed to possess that 100%-man part of His life on earth. He did this without subtracting any of His deity. He did lay aside much of His power voluntarily, but He never ceased to be God. So, God coming as a baby was mandatory not only to fulfill Scripture but to be able to conquer sin and death without God going against Himself.
God in all His wisdom and perfection had a plan that He perfectly executed in His perfect timing and now all are welcome to repent, believe, follow and live for Christ. I pray this helped you understand this question and I pray you continue to search the Bible and grow in your faith.
Please don’t let my word be the final word on this. Pick up the Bible, read Gospel-saturated books by good authors, read good commentaries on the Bible, pick up Wayne Grudem’s “Systematic Theology”, read the 1689 London Baptist confession of faith and learn from a man’s lifetime of study and meditation on the Word of God. Most of all, trust in Jesus Christ and know what He has given us is whole, perfect and is for our good and His glory. Love you all!