The ‘Son of Man’

1,

If Christ were only a good man, even a very divinely inspired man, his story would be moving, even instructive, but not decisive for humanity in changing the very forces at work in the human predicament. Christ would simply be another hero cut down, punished by religious and worldly authority, precisely for his heroism. This has happened before, it will keep happening.. It adds to the endless list of righteous men and women who testify to God not with words, or even beliefs, but with their blood, sweat, and tears. Such martyrdom is worthy of respect, even gratitude. It can work as a ‘moral exemplar’ encouraging people to follow in its footsteps. Yet it does not shift anything existentially fundamental, within or without= inside each of us and between all of us.

Human heroism cannot, of itself, change the human tragedy.

2,

Christ is the ‘divine-humanity’ of William Blake, the ‘Godman’ of Vladimir Soloviev= not God absorbing humanity, nor humanity absorbing God, but a mixing together of divine and human, ‘without confusion, without separation.’

Indeed, the Messiah is God ‘in’ humanity, through the heart, primarily, and only secondarily through the nature. Christ is the interlocking of divine and human hearts, existentially, not just the co-inhering of uncreated and created natures, ontologically. Moreover, the ontological joining is not complete at Christ’s birth, and only becomes complete in his resurrection after his crucifixion. Divinisation is existential and heart-focused= what the two hearts accomplish, in conjoint action, makes possible the final ontological seamless knitting together of the two natures. The main theme of God’s Incarnation in the human is thus only revealed by the Cross= to find a way through the human dilemma wherein humanity is blocked.

It is because in Christ there is God, as well as humanity, that what this ‘God made man’ does becomes the turning-point for all of time, for all of history, for all of the world.

Christ is ‘the Son of Man’ in Daniel’s vision. The Ancient of Days, the Everlasting Yahweh, gives to the Son of Man the Messianic Kingdom which shall be God’s will done, on earth, as it is in heaven, and which shall last forever, from ages to ages. This is ‘the world to come.’

Olam ha-ba, in Hebrew.

In ancient Judaism, the title ‘Son of God’ meant an upright person. It is significant that Yeshua prefers the title ‘Son of Man’ to refer to himself. In the former, the human strains up to God; in the latter, God descends to the human. The emphasis in the former is on God; the emphasis in the latter is on the human.