Question & Answer Forum

What is the difference between Adam’s original humanity and the Lord’s?

As others have said, Adam’s was innocent humanity (implied in Genesis 2:17; 3:5); His is holy humanity (Luke 1:35). In exploring the meaning of such statements, irreverent curiosity about the Lord’s humanity is as dangerous as looking into the ark was for the men of Bathshemesh (1 Samuel 6:19). Of the meal offering which presents the perfections of the Lord’s life, God said, “It is a thing most holy” (Leviticus 2:3).

In order for the Lord Jesus to be our Redeemer, He must be truly human, “near of kin” to us (Leviticus 25:49). As “the Last Adam, the Second Man” (1 Corinthians 15:45, 47), He must be physically related to Adam. The body prepared for Him (Hebrews 10:5) was not a separate creation but a superintended conception (Luke 1:31, 35). The Spirit of God both empowered the conception and preserved Him from the contamination of fallen humanity.

No form of analysis could distinguish the material substance of the Lord from Adam’s. However, morally and mentally the Lord differed from him. Without a bias to sin, Adam could sin and did. The Lord could not and cannot sin. Adam possessed amazing intelligence; the Lord was and is omniscient. Though He was a learner (Isaiah 50:4; Hebrews 5:8), He knew all things (John 16:30). He possessed all wisdom (Colossians 2:3), but grew in the display of wisdom (Luke 2:52). Every capability He displayed, He had learned, although they were His inherently.

D. Oliver

How does our humanity differ from the Lord’s?

Ours is fallen humanity (Romans 5:12, 14, 19), while His is holy humanity. Three words carefully and precisely define the Lord’s humanity: form; likeness; fashion (Phil 2:7, 8). He took the form of a servant when He assumed a human body (Hebrews 10:5), expressive of a new essence He possessed. In the likeness of sinful flesh (Romans 8:3), He resembled our humanity in every observable way. Because He was in fashion as a man, nothing about His conduct or mode of life contradicted His being truly human.

In important ways, though, His humanity differs from ours mentally, morally, and materially. In contrast to His omni- science, our understanding is darkened (Ephesians 4:18). Unlike His holiness, fallen human- ity prefers sin (Isaiah 53:6; Romans 7:18, 23). Different from our bodies, His body was not under the condemnation of death because of Adam’s sin (Romans 5:16-18). Paul deals with the material and moral implications of our fallen humanity in Romans 5-8. Our physical flesh, linked with Adam is subject to death (7:24) and is presently insepar able from the moral principle within, the flesh, which cannot please God (8:8). The Lord was not subject to death (John 10:18), nor was His body dying. He grew with age (Luke 2:52), but was not subject to the processes of dying that begin to function in our bodies at conception. Attempting to explain that scientifically is impossible; its cause is supernatural (Luke 1:35). Primarily, the physical substance of our Lord differed from ours because His essential manhood was totally without sin. That moral difference entails His freedom from the condemnation of death that blights all else in creation.

D. Oliver

In what ways could the Lord experience pain in a sinless body?

Clearly, the Lord suffered for sin (1 Peter 3:18) in His holy body. Because He relied on divine protection and was morally perfect, He had no inward walls of self-protection. His experience of physical pain from the time of His arrest through His death was thus heightened. He suffered more than any other who experienced the same maltreatment. Further, His holy soul grieved deeply over the ravages of man’s sinfulness expressed in those events. That caused emotional pain beyond our comprehension, because we share in that sinfulness. The source of those pains was external and sinfully intentional.

In other ways, He was preserved from suffering. Psalm 91 promises protection for those who know the secret place of communion with God (vv 1, 2). The Lord counted on angels to preserve Him from injuring Himself, “lest Thou strike Thy foot against a stone” (Psalm 91:12). He trusted divine care to preserve Him from calamity: “There shall no evil befall thee” (v. 10). This did not, however, exempt Him from pain before His arrest. In Gethsemane, as at the grave of Lazarus, He experienced extreme emotional pain (Mark 14:33, 34; John 11:33). In addition, He was hungry (Luke 4:2), weary (John 4:6), and thirsty (19:28), all of which imply that His body communicated some degree of discomfort due to physical needs.

Peter observed that the multitudes surrounding the Lord both closed Him in and pressed upon Him (Luke 8:45, JND). Did His omniscience make it impossible for someone to accidentally step on His foot? Did He ever use His omniscience to protect Himself?

Adam didn’t have omniscience, but he lived in a sinless body. Is it inconceivable that a bear could step on Adam’s foot in paradise? Without laboring in the realm of the hypothetical, the point is that pain is not necessarily a foreign intruder due to sin. The Lord never mistakenly caused pain to others, but He used pain to remove animals from the temple (John 2:15). Pain can be a friend that expresses the body’s legitimate needs.

We can conclude with caution and reverence that, even apart from the results of sin, He experienced bodily pain. The cause of His pain was both external and internal, intentional and potentially unintentional.

D. Oliver