Why couldn’t God just save us without going through all the trouble he did?Why did he choose to save us in the way he did? Why Jesus? Why a virgin birth? Why a perfect life? Why a death on a cross? Why a resurrection? Why an ascension back into heaven?
Did God not have the ability to just speak a word from heaven and save us? No, God couldn’t just speak a word from heaven and save us. Not because God was limited by a lack of power, but because God was limited by his own nature.
You see, everything God does flows from who he is. His actions are always true to his attributes. He can never behave in a way that contradicts his nature. God is love, yes. But he is not only love. He is also holy and just. Everything God does is in accordance with all of his attributes. He cannot exercise his love at the expense of his holiness and justice.
That is why God could not just speak a word from heaven and save us. He would have been exercising his love while betraying his holiness and justice.
God saved us in the only way possible, through the man Jesus Christ. It was only through the man Jesus Christ that God could exercise his love towards us while still remaining holy and just. It was only through the virgin birth, perfect life, sacrificial death, resurrection and ascension of the man Jesus Christ that God could, as the apostle Paul puts it, “be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.” (Romans 3:26)
God is love, and so he desired to show his love toward us and set us apart unto himself. The problem was that God is holy and just, and we were vile and wretched sinners. God’s holiness requires that he be separate from all evil and sin, and therefore he must separate himself from evil sinners like us. Also, God’s justice requires that all evil and sin be punished. God is an infinitely worthy being, and all evil and sin against him must be punished with an infinite punishment. Therefore, God’s nature requires that he not only separate himself from us, but also that he punish us for all eternity.
So, we are presented with God’s great dilemma: How can God be both just and the justifier of men? How can God exercise his love toward vile and wretched sinners like us, while still being faithful to his holiness and justice? The answer: the man Jesus Christ.
The man Jesus Christ took all our sins upon himself while on the cross, and God poured out all his wrath on him because of our sins. Having poured out the full measure of his wrath on sin, God was able to remain just. The man Jesus Christ not only suffered the full punishment for our sins through his sacrificial death on the cross, but he also lived a perfectly sinless life, attaining a perfect righteousness that satisfied all the requirements of God’s law, allowing God to justify us by crediting Jesus’ perfect righteousness to us. This allowed God to see us in light of Jesus’ righteousness instead of our sinfulness, allowing God to adopt us as children and welcome us into his holy presence. Therefore, God was able to show us his love while still remaining holy.
The man Jesus Christ allowed God to show his love toward us while not betraying his justice or holiness, because our sin was punished in Jesus and we were welcomed into God’s holy presence based on Jesus’ perfect righteousness.
Jesus had to become a man, for only as a man could he attain perfect righteousness by a life of total obedience to God’s law, and only as a man could he drink the full cup of God’s wrath poured out on our sins.
The man Jesus Christ was God’s only way to save us. The man Jesus Christ was our only hope.
But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.
― Galatians 4:4–5 NASB
For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,
― 1 Timothy 2:5 NASB