Why did Christ have to live 33 years when He only had to die to save us?

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33 years

Christ had to live on this earth 33 years in order to spend enough time to manifest God’s character to both men and angels. Since He was “the image of God” (Colossians 1:15), He was the only One qualified to declare the Father’s character to the Universe. He became a man to:

Expose Satan’s lies

Satan had attacked God’s character before the universe by his false accusations. And his pride led him to say, “I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; … I will be like the Most High” (Isaiah 14:13, 14). In contrast, Christ “being in the form of God, counted it not a thing to be grasped to be on an equality with God, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men” (Philippians 2:6, 7). In stooping to take upon Himself humanity, Christ revealed a character the opposite of the character of Satan. And He stepped still lower in the path of humiliation. “Being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (Philippians 2:8).

Reveal God’s love

God is love and He desires only love from His created beings. Love cannot be won by force. Only by love is love awakened. Christ was able to reveal God’s love because He knew the height and depth of the love of God. So, He gave up his throne, and stepped down from the throne of the universe, that He might save the world (Hebrews 10:5-7). For “God so loved the world, that He gave His only-begotten Son” (John 3:16).

Christ said, “I have declared unto them Thy name,”—“merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth” (John 17:26; Exodus 34:6). And His work of revealing the Father was prophesied in the Scriptures, “His name shall be called Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14) which “means, “God with us” (Matthew 1:22,23).

Identify with humanity

The Son of God came to dwell, not only among us, but to be identified with the human family (John 1:1–3, 14; Romans 8:1–4; Philippians 2:6–8; Hebrews 2:16, 17). For this reason, we know that the Creator is acquainted with our trials, and sympathizes with our griefs. We can see that He is the friend of sinners. Every action of Christ revolved around that (John 8:28; 6:57; 8:50; 7:18). He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him” (Isaiah 53:5). Christ lived in “the body of our humiliation” (Philippians 3:21) that He might draw near to sorrowful, tempted men. By His humanity, Christ touched humanity; by His divinity, He laid hold upon the throne of God.

Be an example of obedience

Christ’s life was an example of obedience to God’s will. By His sinless life (1 Peter 2:22; Hebrews 4:15), He honored God’s law and didn’t abolish it (Matthew 5:17,18). He took the form of an obedient servant to teach the believers how to obey (Romans 5:19). And He promised that His victory over sin can be also be given to the believers (Philippians 4:13).

Unite the human and heavenly families

Through His life, the Savior has bound Himself to humanity by a tie that is never to be broken. God fulfilled His promise, “Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder” (Isaiah 9:6). The Lord has adopted human nature in the person of His Son, and has carried the same into the highest heaven. Therefore, the Prince of Peace” who is “holy, is not ashamed to call the believers His brethren (Hebrews 7:26; 2:11). Thus, in Christ the family of earth and the family of heaven are brought together (Ephesians 2:7; 3:10, 11).

Vindicate God

Through Christ’s earthly ministry, the government of God stands justified forever. Both the justice and mercy of the Creator are fully satisfied. God’s justice sentences the sinner and His mercy redeems him. Thus, Satan’s false accusation against God’s love are refuted and his lies exposed. Therefore, sin can never rise a second time in the universe. By love’s self-sacrifice, the inhabitants of earth and heaven are reunited to their Creator in bonds of love. Therefore, humans will praise the Lord throughout eternity for His unspeakable gift,— Immanuel, “God with us.”

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

This answer is also available in: العربية हिन्दी

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