Behold, He who keeps Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep (Psalm 121:4).
One of the side effects of a 2006 car accident is occasional “glitches” where my brain short circuits in seizures. Each glitch results in confusion, memory loss, depression, loss of bodily functions, and insomnia. Recovery can last weeks.
A recent glitch left me with 3 weeks of an hour or two of sleep a day. Sleeplessness permits unending time to work, but also highlights the utter frailty of my humanity.
One of the unusual beliefs of cultists attached to early Christianity was that Jesus wasn’t human. They couldn’t reconcile an eternal God with humanness, and concluded that Jesus was only a spirit with an illusion of a body meant to deceive.
To combat this gnostic heresy known as Docetism, the gospel writers took great effort to emphasize Christ’s humanity. Jesus cried (John 11:35), thirsted (Matthew 27:48), could touch and be touched (Luke 8:54), grew hungry (Mark 11:12), and had spit (John 9:14). The God who never slumbers became exhausted and slept (Mark 4:38). He was fully human.
Christ’s humanity was perfectly revealed in His beatings (Matthew 26:67), being nailed to a cross (Mark 15:24), pierced by a spear (John 19:34), and the death and burial of His body (Luke 23:52). His physical body died, but His eternal Person ever-existed. No ghost could have fooled Roman soldiers and illusions cannot be buried (Luke 23:52-53; John 19:32-34). Three days later that same body buried and guarded by Roman soldiers was raised from the dead (Matthew 27:57 – 28:7) and ascended into Heaven to one day return (Acts 1:9-11).
The eternal Son of God took upon Himself human flesh and died a physical death. Only a human can die in the place of another human. This is why the Bible says the blood of bulls and goats could cover but not remove sin. It’s why John’s words in John 1:29 were so profound; Jesus was the Lamb of God who actually took our sins away and upon Himself!
Fully divine and fully human, Jesus didn’t compromise either of His natures. Only a physical Man could die; and only a perfect and holy God could satisfy His own demands for a perfect Sacrifice.
It is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins. Therefore, when He came into the world, He said: “Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, but a body You have prepared for Me” (Hebrews 10:4-5).