Archdiocese of Mobile

Office for Evangelization and Family Life

Why the Incarnation II

Date posted: December 16, 2014

christmasSo, this is Part II of our attempt to answer the question, “Why did Jesus have to become man in order to save us?”  You really need to read yesterday’s blog for this one to make much sense.


Obviously, there is a problem when someone owes a debt that they cannot pay.  If you, or anyone else, simply give the money to fix the window that Tommy broke then justice is incomplete.  Tommy has to do it.  But, if Tommy does not have the means, and you extract it somehow, then mercy is lacking.  In the end you may pay for the window and let Tommy work off the debt.


The point is this, we all know that Tommy has to pay the debt.  But, our analogy does fall short.  In our analogy Tommy can pay the debt (perhaps with great difficulty and harm).  In the case of salvation humanity simply could not pay the debt, period.  We all know that humanity must pay the debt, but only God has the capacity to pay it.  So, in his infinite mercy, our God unites a complete human nature with his divine nature in the person of Jesus so that humanity can pay the debt, but the “offering” will be sufficient to make up for the offense.


In the person of Jesus, a human undoes the disobedience done by the first humans.  In the person of Jesus, the obedience is perfect because he is divine.  He had to be obedient unto death for the obedience to be complete.  Anything short of death would have left this messiah with something left to give.  The oblation had to be total and complete.


Not only did he die for that Original Sin, but his death is the expiation for all of my sin, for all of my disobedience and lack of love.  Every sin I commit is only forgivable because Jesus already paid my debt for it.


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