Why the Incarnation
Date posted: December 15, 2014
“The Word became flesh in order to save us by reconciling us with God…” CCC #457
Ok, I get it…but I really don’t. Why did God have to become man for us to be reconciled? All this week we will be taking a look at why the Word became flesh. But, all of the things we are going to look at are secondary reasons for his Incarnation. He became man to save us. Everything else is secondary. But, why did he have to become man in order to save us? Why couldn’t God just forgive the sin of Adam and Eve?
God is all just and he is all merciful. These two almost seem to be mutually exclusive, but not in God. In fact, God is not only just; he is justice. He is not only merciful; he is mercy. Justice can be defined as, “Giving each person that which is due to them.” Mercy can be defined as, “Lenient treatment or forbearance.” For forgiveness to occur there must be repentance by the offender. The problem in the case of our sin against God is that our repentance cannot equal the offense. You see, the one we offended is infinite goodness and an eternal being. Our repentance must be infinite as well. No human person ever in the history of humanity could offer the required repentance. But, it had to be a human, because it was humanity that had offended.
Let me offer an analogy. Let’s say that a little boy named Tommy broke a window in your car with his baseball. For the sake of the analogy, let’s further say that you are so loving and kind that you are very willing and capable of forgiving Tommy. You forgive him. Has justice been served? You have shown mercy, but there is not really justice (which is defined as giving each person their due). Your window is still broken. The problem is this, Tommy does not have the money to pay for the damage. So, you make Tommy drop out of school and take a job to pay the debt. Now, justice is served, but at the cost of mercy.
I will wrap this up tomorrow.
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