Other articles in this issue focus on Jesus’ deity and humanity in the past and what it means today. In this excerpt from his book Jesus Christ Our Lord, longtime president of Dallas Seminary, the late John F. Walvoord, looks at what the Bible says about Jesus Christ in eternity future.
The overwhelming biblical evidence for both the deity and true humanity of Christ makes it self-evident that in His person these natures so widely differing as to their attributes are nevertheless brought together into a personal union, which will continue forever. Though Christ sometimes operated in the sphere of His humanity and in other cases in the sphere of His deity, in all cases what He did and what He was could be attributed to His one person. Even though it is evident that there were two natures in Christ, He is never considered a dual personality. The normal pronouns such as I, You, and He are used of Him frequently.
The hypostatic or personal union of the human and divine natures in Christ is given explicit divine revelation in at least seven major passages of Scripture (Phil. 2:6–11; John 1:1–14; Rom. 1:2–5, 9:5; 1 Tim. 3:16; Heb. 2:14; and 1 John 1:1–3). These passages, which are studied in connection with other doctrines, make it evident that the eternal Son of God took upon Himself a complete human nature and became Man. The act of Incarnation was not a temporary arrangement that ended with His death and resurrection but, as the Scriptures make evident, His human nature continues forever, His earthly body which died on the cross being transformed into a resurrection body suited for His glorious presence in heaven. The continuance of His humanity is reflected in such passages as Matthew 26:64, where it is stated that Christ will sit on the throne of His glory and return to earth as the Son of Man. The appearances of Christ after His resurrection also substantiate the continuity of His true humanity. When the women met Christ (Matt. 28:9), it is recorded, “They came and took hold of his feet, and worshiped him.” Mary Magdalene, according to John 20:17, actually clung to Christ in her joy at seeing Him after His resurrection.
Further evidence is found in the other appearances in His post-Resurrection ministry as well as in the fact of His bodily ascension into heaven (Mark 16:19; Luke 24:39–43, 50–53; John 20:22, 27–28; Acts 1:1–11; 7:56). According to Philippians 2:10, the human name Jesus is continued in connection with the final judgment.
His humanity seems also to be essential to His work of mediation. According to 1 Timothy 2:5, “There is one God, one mediator also between God and men, himself man, Christ Jesus.” The term “Son of Man,” which Christ uses of Himself in Matthew 26:64 as describing His reign in heaven, is mentioned also in Revelation 1:13 and 14:14.Though certain aspects of His mediatorial work will terminate according to 1 Corinthians 15:25–28, there is no indication anywhere in the Bible that His humanity will ever be terminated. By its very nature a human personality once brought into existence never ceases to exist, and what is true of ordinary human experience is also true of Christ who became Man. His continuance as a human being in eternity seems to involve also the continuance of a human body. This is demonstrated, first, in the resurrection of Christ where His body was raised and prepared for heaven; second, in the fact of His ascension which was a bodily ascension into heaven; third, in the fact that He will return bodily to the earth; and fourth, that His body is a pattern of the body of believers who are raised or translated. There is every reason, therefore, to believe that the humanity of Christ will continue throughout all eternity to come.
Excerpted from John F. Walvoord, Jesus Christ Our Lord, Moody Press, 1974. Used with permission.