Haniwa in the Form of a Man - History
This ancient clay doll is of a type known as haniwa, funerary objects that surrounded the above-ground tombs of emperors and nobles during the late Kofun (also known as Tumulus) period of Japan (200-710). These terracotta sculptures ranged from human figures of all occupations to animals, armor, weapons, and even small replicas of houses. Haniwawere set in carefully composed scenes upon the terraces of the tomb mounds. It is unknown if they were meant to serve as guardians of the grave, or as items and servants the deceased could carry with them to the afterlife.
This haniwa lacks detailed clothing or accessories, leaving his social standing unclear, but his headdress and braided hairstyle indicate that he is male. The bottom half of this figure has been lost typically, the lower half of a haniwa would have a long cylindrical base that was set into the ground. Some figures were also decoratively painted with red ochre. Like this man, many figures have simple incised holes for eyes and mouths, and appear to be singing or speaking. The delicate detailing of eyebrows, cheekbones, and individual fingers, along with the smooth, minimally decorated surface of this figure date it as a later form of haniwa, which became increasingly simplified as the demand for the figures grew over time. As ancient Japanese civilization changed from an agrarian society to a feudal system, the growing number of nobles entombed required thousands of haniwa, many of which are still being discovered today.Haniwa provide Japanese archaeologists with a valuable glimpse of the roles and values that characterized early Japan, but their charming simplicity and unassuming demeanor make them an appealing art form to all who encounter them.
This work is currently on view in the Elizabeth Rickey Bevington and Leila Hammond Duncan Gallery on the fourth floor of the museum.
The hereditary lands of the Yamato clan are on a peninsula on the southwest coast of Ise Bay. This bay is located on the main island of Honshu, southwest of modern Tokyo.
Prior to the late seventh century CE, there was no permanent capital of Japan. Each ruler governed from their own palace, which was usually abandoned following their death. As the Yamato began to adopt the Chinese system of governmental bureaucracy and organization, the need for a permanent seat of government arose. The first capital was founded at Fujiwara in 694 CE and served three emperors before being abandoned in 710. The second capital of this period was built at Heijo (west of modern Nara) and occupied from 710 to 784.
Rise to power
Chinese documents from the second century CE refer to 100 countries existing in Wa, the Chinese name for Japan. By the third century the Chinese refer to a queen of Wa, probably of the Yamato clan, who had consolidated 30 countries under her rule. During this period, the Yamato clan consolidated its control over most of Japan with a combination of military conquest, intermarriage, and diplomacy.
Religion and culture
During the Yamato period, tribal states of various sizes and power were brought together gradually by a dynasty of Yamato clan rulers. The leader of the Yamato in the second half of this period was known as the Daiõ, or Great King. The power of the Yamato was expanded and strengthened through blood ties within the clan, their apparent military supremacy, diplomacy, and manipulation of the sun myth that bestowed divinity on their ancestry. The different tribal groups or clans were the nobility or uji class. Serving the uji was an occupational/professional class called the be, who worked as farmers, scribes, traders, and manufacturers. The lowest class was slaves. Immigrants fit in among both the uji and be, depending on their skills and wealth. In the seventh century, the Yamato transformed the government of Japan based on influences from China. The Yamato sovereign became an imperial ruler supported by court and administrative officials. The uji class was stripped of land and military power, but given official posts and stipends. This political system remained in effect until around 1200 CE.
The Story of the Sandwich
Would you believe that Americans eat more than 300 million sandwiches a day? That’s right, every day we consume about as many sandwiches as we have people to eat them. And why not? The sandwich might be the perfect food: portable, open to any interpretation and as simple or as elaborate as the mood permits. The sandwich has a long history, but it hasn’t always been as embraced in America as it is now. It’s hard to imagine, but the sandwich was once thought of as a symbol of a colonial past that most patriotic Americans wanted to forget.
The sandwich as we know it was popularized in England in 1762 by John Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich. Legend has it, and most food historians agree, that Montagu had a substantial gambling problem that led him to spend hours on end at the card table. During a particularly long binge, he asked the house cook to bring him something he could eat without getting up from his seat, and the sandwich was born. Montagu enjoyed his meat and bread so much that he ate it constantly, and as the concoction grew popular in London society circles it also took on the Earl’s name.
Of course, John Montagu (or rather, his nameless cook) was hardly the first person to think of putting fillings between slices of bread. In fact, we know exactly where Montagu first got the idea for his creation. Montagu traveled abroad to the Mediterranean, where Turkish and Greek mezze platters were served. Dips, cheeses, and meats were all “sandwiched” between and on layers of bread. In all likelihood Montagu took inspiration from these when he sat at that card table.
Montagu’s creation took off immediately. Just a few months later, a man named Edward Gibbon mentioned the sandwich by name in a diary entry, writing that he𠆝 seen “twenty or thirty of the first men of the kingdom” in a restaurant eating them. By the Revolutionary War, the sandwich was well established in England. You would expect American colonists to have taken to the sandwich as well, but there’s no early written record of them in the new country at all, until a sandwich recipe didn’t appear in an American cookbook until 1815.
Why would this creation go unsung in the nation for so long? It seems early American cooks tended to avoid culinary trends from their former ruling state. And the name “sandwich” itself comes from the British peerage system, something that most Americans wanted to forget. Once memory faded and the sandwich appeared, the most popular version wasn’t ham or turkey, but tongue!
Of course, most Americans today wouldn’t dream of a eating a tongue sandwich. But that’s ok, since we’ve come up with some pretty excellent sandwich ideas since then. That iconic New Orleans sandwich, the Po’ Boy, came about in the Great Depression during a streetcar worker strike. Two brothers, once streetcar operators themselves, owned a sandwich shop nearby, and promised to feed any down-on-his-luck striking worker for free. When a hungry striker walked into the shop, the clerks would yell, “Here comes another po’ boy,” and the name stuck. That school lunch staple, the Sloppy Joe, came about at around the same time, the innovation of a short order diner cooked named – you guessed it – Joe. And the Reuben, that decidedly un-Kosher treat of corned beef, Swiss cheese, and sauerkraut, appeared not in a New York City deli but in Omaha, Nebraska. Named after one of the participants in a weekly poker game that took place in a hotel, the creation really took off when the hotel owner featured it on the dinner menu. It later won a nationwide recipe contest, and the rest is history.
Was Jim Crow a Real Person?
The term “Jim Crow” typically refers to repressive laws and customs once used to restrict Black Americans&apos rights, but the origin of the name itself actually dates back to before the Civil War.
In the early 1830s, the white actor Thomas Dartmouth y” Rice was propelled to stardom for performing minstrel routines as the fictional “Jim Crow,” a caricature of a clumsy, dimwitted Black enslaved man. Rice claimed to have first created the character after witnessing an elderly Black man singing a tune called “Jump Jim Crow” in Louisville, Kentucky. He later appropriated the Jim Crow persona into a minstrel act where he donned blackface and performed jokes and songs in a stereotypical dialect.
For example, “Jump Jim Crow” included the popular refrain, “Weel about and turn about and do ‘jis so, eb’ry time I weel about I jump Jim Crow.” Rice’s minstrel act proved a massive hit among white audiences, and he later took it on tour around the United States and Great Britain. As the show’s popularity spread, “Jim Crow” became a widely used derogatory term for Black people.
Jim Crow’s popularity as a fictional character eventually died out, but in the late 19th century the phrase found new life as a blanket term for a wave of anti-Black laws laid down after Reconstruction. Some of the most common laws included restrictions on voting rights. Many Southern states required literacy tests or limited suffrage to those whose grandfathers had also had the right to vote. Other laws banned interracial relationships, while clauses allowed businesses to separate their Black and white clientele.
Haniwa in the Form of a Man - History
The floor plan: Does it reveal
a temple with a human form?
The First Temple, ie., the Temple of Solomon, Jerusalem Temple or Jewish Temple, may have been constructed in the hidden form of a man, i.e., as a human body temple figure. Its architectural floor plan in conjunction with the layout of its furnishings reveals a Temple Man composed of three biblical luminaries: Jacob, the Levitical High Priest, and a Metallic Messiah figure. All three appear in a single design with one figure imposed atop the other. The measurements and description of the Temple (Heb., Beit HaMikdash) are given in the Tanach ( Old Testament ) in I Kings 6:1-35, and II Chronicles 3:1-17, which is still our best source of information about this ancient holy structure (circa 982 – 586 BC ) and based primarily on the above verses, various Jewish, Christian, and secular sources depict the holy house as a rectangular building with a triple-tiered row of cells on three of its sides: west, south, and north, with the entrance on the east, as shown at right. It should not be confused with the Second Temple started by King Herod about 20 BC and destroyed by the Romans in AD 70.
Also, some Jewish sources have tried finding a human figure within the Mishkan (tabernacle), see next page.
Importance of tabnit, the ‘plan’
The key to the Temple’s secrets is in the floor plan and layout of its furnishings. The “plan” or “pattern” (Heb., tabnit) of its structure and furniture is mentioned I Chronicles 28:11, 12, 19. Tabnit is also translated as design, structure, figure, form, likeness, and shape. Thus, in Deuteronomy 4:16-18 the Israelites are forbidden making any likeness, form, or figure of a human or beast for worship. In Ezekiel 8:10 the prophet sees repulsive forms or figures of creeping beasts, but in 8:3 he is lifted up by the form or figure of God’s hand or an angel’s (see also 10:8) and in Psalms 144:12 sons and daughters are compared to choice cut stones giving shape or form to a palace (see the Jewish Publication Society’s Tanakh).
The High Priest as Temple Man
At left is the Temple Floor Plan transformed into a figure of the Levite High Priest and within the figure are 13 red numbers briefly explained below. All are in sequence except nine (9) .
1. PRIESTS’ CELLS as a TURBAN 1 west side – Gold and silver bullion, I Kings 7:51, was likely stored here. These cells form the High Priest’s head cover or turban mentioned in Exodus 28:4, 37. The common priest’s cap or bonnet, Exodus 28:40, was more globular, resembling an inverted bowl.
9. PRIESTS’ CELLS, south and north sides – These are the arms. Only one ingress is given, I Kings. 6:8, but Ezekiel 41:11 includes a second.The entrances correspond to the onyx stones the High Priest wore on his left and right shoulders. Each was engraved with the
names of six Israelite tribes, twelve names total, Exodus. 28:9 -12.
2. TWO LARGE STARS – These are two 10-cubit tall cherubs of gold plated olive wood, I Kings. 6:23, 28 they are the eyes within Temple Man’s head, while the head is the Holy of Holies 2 .
3. THE ARK of the COVENANT – This is a gold plated chest with a solid gold cover and two small cherubs (small stars).The Ark is his nose and its poles –when attached to its long sides and drawn forward (I Kings. 8:8) – depict extended nostrils smelling the sweet smoke from the Incense Altar in the Holy Place.
4. STAIRWAY – A short staircase or ramp led from the Holy Place to a slightly elevated (six cubits) Holy of Holies.The stairway is his neck/throat and its top is his mouth. See First Temple vs. Second Temple.
5. INCENSE ALTAR – This small gold plated altar (I Kings 6:22) is national Israel’s heart, and its sweet-smelling smoke is the prayers and spiritual life of national ideal Israel, i.e., Israel as she should be.
6. TABLES OF THE SHOWBREAD – On these gold plated tables (I Kings 7:48) were bread and wine, symbolizing flesh and blood, i.e., the humanity of national Israel.
7. THE LAMP STANDS (I Kings 7:48, 49) – Their total number was 10 stands/msenorahs x 7 stems each = 70 lights, relating to the 70 Israelites of Exodus 1:5 (Jacob’s offspring). This is national Israel as the light to the world,and the world is the 70 nations of Genesis 10. They may also symbolize Shabbat (the Sabbath) multiplied 10 times, implying a messianic age of worldwide rest (meaning peace). For a larger view of them see Secrets of the Holy Place.
8. THE PORCH, Portico or vestibule – This antechamber, the ulam, (I Kings 6:3, II Chronicles 3:4) corresponds to the human pelvis (hips) and, therefore, procreation through the male and female genitalia.
10. TEN LAVERS – Five bronze water lavers were on the north and five on the south side, by the Porch. These signify the ten fingers of the hands. The lavers were for washing the blood off the sacrificial offerings, I Kings 7:38 II Chronicles 4:6.
11. JACHIN, BOAZ – The large bronze pillars by the Porch were named Jachin and Boaz (II Chronicles.3:17) and form Temple Man’s legs. These are two hybrid plants symbolizing Kings David and Solomon, war and peace.
12. SEA OF BRONZE, TWELVE BULLS – This was a huge basin full of water for the priests to wash their hands and feet (II Chronicles 4:2). It depicts the twelve tribes of Israel crossing the Red Sea. Its water symbolizes the God’s spirit and also his seed.
13. THE SACRIFICIAL ALTAR – This (II Chronicles. 4:1) forms Temple Man’s feet, while also symbolizing the metallic King Messiah’s feet and footstool, as was the custom of that time, II Chronicles 9:18, Psalms 110:1.
The High Priest’s Garments: White and Gold
The exterior of Solomon's temple was made of the brightest white limestone blocks. Their color corresponded to the High Priest's 'Garments of White' worn on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. On the remaining days of the year, however, he wore the 'Garments of Gold' and these correspond to the Temple’s gold interior. In his book, Temples and Temple Service in Ancient Israel (1985), pp. 169- 171, Professor Menahem Haran of the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, provides some details of how the furnishings of the Mishkan (Tabernacle) correspond to the garments of the High Priest. Other scholars have noted this too, and Ezekiel 16:10-14 portrays national Israel as a woman (wife of God) dressed in the furnishings of the Tabernacle, which gradually transforms into the Temple (v.14).
Jacob’s Dream and the Temple
Jewish tradition tells us that Jacob (father of the twelve Israelite tribes) saw the Temple in advance in his dream at Luz. After seeing angels ascending and descending on a stairway (‘ladder’), he says in Genesis 28:17, 'This is none other than God’s house . ” and in v. 19 renames the place Bethel, House of God, which is also a designation for the Temple. Later he changes it again to El Bethel (God house of God) 35:7 and God, in turn, renames him Israel, 35:10. As shown below, Jacob's raised head corresponds to an elevated Holy of Holies and his ‘pillow stone’ (28:11) to the Even Shetiyah or 'Foundation Stone' where Abraham had earlier bound Isaac (22:9 -11). In other words, as he slept – unbeknownst to him – his head and body became a model for the Temple that was eventually built atop Mount Moriah by King Solomon (2 Chronicles 3:1). Today this site is called Haram al-Sharif by the Arabs, and the Temple Mount by the Israelis and others.
Jacob Builds the Temple?
Why was Jacob given the dream at this time? Not solely because he was fleeing the wrath of his brother Esau, but also because he was on his way to Mesopotamia to find a wife and create a family, i.e., a “house”. Isaac practically ordered him to leave and start his own family (Genesis. 28: 1, 2), that he might multiply and become an “company of peoples,” v. 3 and later it is said his two wives are the “builders” of the House of Israel, Ruth. 4:11. Jacob, therefore, constructed a human temple, a house of twelve tribes (plus the Levites) and centuries later these twelve, with hired Phoenician craftsmen, raised Solomon’s stone temple, the ‘House of God’. Therefore, the dream concerns the building of two houses, Israel’s (Jacob’s) and God’s.
The Amazing Metallic Messiah
The illustration below at right shows how the metals of the Temple’s interior reveal the Metallic Messiah. But how do we know the interior metals have this secondary meaning?
Because their type and order parallel those of King Nebuchadnezzar’s metal statue below, which itself symbolizes an unholy, secular messianic world ruler.
For the interior gold plating of the Temple’s Holy of Holies, Holy Place and Porch, see I Kgs. 6:20 - 22 and II Chr. 3:4 -10. For the bronze furniture outside see I Kgs. 7:15 - 27, 38 and II Chr. 4:1 -7.This gives the Metallic Messiah a head, torso and pelvis of gold, but hands, legs and feet of bronze. His silver shoulders and arms relate to the silver plated walls ‘houses’ or ‘buildings’ (i.e., priestly cells) of I Chr. 29:4.
However, we remove the western cells – also silver plated inside – that form the turban (as shown at right) because we are viewing a nude man who is the counterpart of another nude man, Nebuchadnezzar’s metallic statue, below. Thus, we compare one nude figure with another, not a clothed one with a nude one. Also excluded is the Sea of Bronze because it is not part of the natural human anatomy.
Nebuchadnezzar’s Metal Statue - The account of the huge metal statue that King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon saw in a dream is found in chapter 2:1 - 35 of the Book of Daniel, but our focus is primarily on vv. 31 - 33.
This statue of four metals, v. 31, has a head of gold, arms and chest of silver, belly and thighs of bronze, v. 32, legs of iron, v. 33, and feet of iron fused with baked clay, v. 33. The clay counts as one with the iron so that he is made of fourmetals. However, Temple Man, i.e. the Metallic Messiah, consists of only three metals: gold, silver, and bronze (or copper). These same three were also in the tabernacle of Moses’ time, Exodus 25:3, 31:4 35:5.
The four metals of Nebuchadnezzar’s statue depict four successive world empires, symbolizing Man’s ungodly earthly rule until the Last Days, Daniel 2: 34, 35. And just as Man’s rule is summed in one man of various metals, so too God’s forthcoming reign is portrayed by a single Metallic Messiah of three metals. See also Solomon’s Cyborg Messiah.
‘Messiah’ is a transliteration of mashiach, which means the anointed or anointed one. Jewish kings were anointed by having olive oil – symbolizing illumination – poured on their heads so that they might know how to rule their nation. Solomon himself was anointed in this manner, I Kings 1:39, and had prayed for an “understanding mind” to know how to rule, 3:9, and it was granted him, 3:12. Jewish kings were seen as sitting on the Divine throne and ruling on God’s behalf according to I Chronicles 29:23: ‘Then Solomon sat on the throne of Yahweh . ,’ and also 28:5 where King David says that God ‘has chosen my son Solomon to sit on the throne of the kingdom of Yahweh,’ and that kingdom was national Israel. But King Messiah – the Metallic Messiah – is or will be anointed with the Divine spirit that he may know how to rule the entire world, not national Israel only.
. No Proof of Silver Walls?
Concerning the information directly above, someone wrote to another website claiming there was no proof that Solomon overlaid any walls with silver, totally ignoring I Chronicles 29:4. Yet all the bible translations I’ve consulted, both Jewish and non-Jewish, include this verse with its silver walls. Let us ask and answer, therefore: Is it likely that the “houses” (i.e., cells) in v. 29:4 above were silver plated? Yes, and here is why.
A potent indicator of their existence is that they follow the pattern (Heb., tabnit) of the silver sockets of Moses’ tabernacle, which was constructed at the foot of Mount Sinai centuries before King Solomon’s time.
Keep in mind that everything about the Tabernacle (Fig. A) was portable, including its foundation. So what, then, was the Tabernacle’s ‘foundation’? One hundred (100) sockets (i.e., bases) of silver and these were placed on only three sides: On the south, 40 sockets, Exodus 36:23, 24, and on the north another 40, vv. 25, 26 but on the west side, v. 27, the short side of the rectangular foundation, only 16 sockets were needed. This totals 96 silver sockets. What about the other four? Ah! now it gets more interesting. They were placed between the Holy of Holies and the Holy Place, v. 36. For what purpose? To sustain the poles for the paroket, the ‘veil,’ a very special Dividing Curtain separating the two holy rooms. A description of the curtain is given in Exodus 36:35. Hence, the total number of silver sockets was 100, one socket from each talent of donated silver, (38:27). To complete the rectangular foundation, another five sockets were placed on the eastern side, the entrance, but these were of bronze or copper (36:38), not silver, as shown above (Fig. A).
The silver sockets on the south, north and west side formed a horseshoe like foundation on three sides of the Tabernacle – as did the priestly cells of the Temple, compare Fig. A and B above. Also compare Fig. A and C and note how the four silver sockets of the Dividing Curtain (blue line, Fig. A) correlate with the priestly cells that form the shoulders of Temple Man, Fig. C. The whole Tabernacle is shown at right.
The Temple had 90 or 99 3 priestly cells the Tabernacle had none. But the number of cells or and sockets is not vital. What matters is their arrangement or pattern and that such a pattern is reproduced in the layout of the Temple’s priestly cells (‘houses’) with silver plated walls, I Chronicles 29:4. This also implies that the Tabernacle’s gold plated wooden frame (above at right), Exodus 26:29, relates to the Temple’s gold plated walls. The Tabernacle and Temple had similarities, and the correlation of the silver sockets and silver cells is one of them. The Temple’s foundation was of limestone blocks, not silver.
Finally, I have shown that the Temple wasalso in the hidden form of the Levite High Priest and by law all priests were of the tribe of Levi. In Malachi 3:3 the Lord rebukes the priesthood saying that he ‘will purify the sons of Levi (of corruption) and refine them as gold and silver’. Since the central portion of the Temple’s interior was gold plated, it is perfectly fitting that its cell walls should be silver plated, symbolizing the priests themselves becoming as ‘gold and silver’ by attaining inward attributes of holiness after being purged of moral corruption.
1 Mitsnepheth (Heb.), the headgear of the High Priest, is often translated as miter, but a more fitting word is turban.Mitsnepheth (from the root sanip) may refer to something that fits around the head, such as a crown or tiara, but also to something that is wound around it, such as bandage or turban ( see First Kings 20:32 in the Tanakh by JPS or the NIV). The common priests wore a migbaah, usually translated as bonnet or cap,from the root term gibaah, meaning a hill or small hill , either of which resembles an inverted bowl. See Gesenius’ Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon, etc.
2 This room, a cube of 20 cubits, was the counterpart of the “Holy of Holies”(Heb.kodesh kodashim) of the Mosaic Tabernacle, but the Book of First Kings calls it debir, instead,from the Hebrew root dbr, meaning to speak, according to various Hebrew language references, and which is commonly translated as Shrine, Most Holy Place, Oracle, etc. Debir is a fitting name because from here Temple Man speaks, thus providing further confirmation that this room symbolizes the head, which includes the throat and mouth ( the stairway is the neck-throat, and the mouth is the top of the stairway). Oracle is the closest English equivalent to debir because it may refer to the response of a deity, the place where the deity speaks, or to a prophet or priest who speaks for the deity. And it also implies that Temple Man may symbolize a prophet, or possibly even God himself.
3 Based on Ezekiel 41:6, Jewish bibles prefer 99 cells (3 floors x33 cells each), most others 90 cells (3x30). Apparently the Hebrew text allows either view. It seems, though, that the 100 silver sockets of the Tabernacle symbolize Abraham’s age at Isaac birth, while the Temple’s 90 silver-clad cells symbolize Sarah’s age at that same event (Genesis 17:17, 21:5). Both Tabernacle and Temple were constructed centuries after Abraham and Sarah .
Notice: Verse citations used on this website are from the World English Bible online or some other public domain work. All artwork used on this site and originally created by Tony Badillo is copyrighted, as is public domain artwork from others that has been radically altered. And finally, all explanatory text originally written by Tony Badillo is also copyrighted. Please do not copy.
Participants receiving purification by water at the naked festival in Okayama
Japanese boys and men feel comfortable in traditional thong-type wear that shows the buttocks in public, such as the Fundoshi (besides underwear, also used as swimsuit) or the sumo wrestling equivalent.
The typically masculine Japanese idiom fundoshi o shimete kakaru (tighten your loincloth) means the same as the English phrase "roll up your sleeves" — in other words, get ready for some hard work.
Even cold winter weather doesn't prevent Japanese men from walking around outside in fundoshi. Especially if it is the third Saturday of February, as this is the date of Okayama's annual Hadaka Matsuri (Naked Festival). Even in the coldest weather, up to 10,000 men will strip down to fundoshi and run through the streets in this traditional test of manhood. For over 400 years, men have been doing this in Okayama.
As Royal Tax Collector and Witchfinder General for Queen Kane and the Holy Guardians of the Payan, Tamacti Jun is a brilliant and violent general leading the army tasked with finding those with sight, specifically Jerlamarel and then the children of Jerlamarel, Haniwa and Kofun.
His sworn allegiance is to serve Queen Kane and he loyally follows laws and rituals set out by his ruler. This includes his duty to be commissioned for 20 years to find Jerlamarel and the twins. Wanting to follow Queen Kane's orders as a priority, he is willing to forgo his pledge to end his life on his own terms, in order to continue the pursuit of the twins with sight.
Despite his pledges to Queen Kane, upon finding out that she destroyed Kanzua, his loyalty to his men takes precedent, knowing their friends and families where killed in the destruction of the holy city. With fractured loyalty towards Queen Kane, Tamacti Jun moves for a new Queen in the form of Maghra.
He moves forward by giving Queen Kane two options: abdicate and allow Maghra to rule, or lose her life. Upon the Queen refusing, with the influence of Cora, Boots stabs Tamacti Jun leaving the Witchfinder General for dead.
Why God Became Man
The word incarnation does not occur in the Bible. It is derived from the Latin in and caro (flesh), meaning clothed in flesh, the act of assuming flesh. Its only use in theology is in reference to that gracious, voluntary act of the Son of God in which He assumed a human body. In Christian doctrine the Incarnation, briefly stated, is that the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, became a man. It is one of the greatest events to occur in the history of the universe. It is without parallel.
The Apostle Paul wrote, ''And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh . . . " (I Timothy 3:16). Confessedly, by common consent the Incarnation of Jesus Christ is outside the range of human natural comprehension and apprehension. It can be made known only by Divine revelation in the Holy Scriptures, and to those only who are illumined by the Holy Spirit. It is a truth of the greatest magnitude that God in the Person of His Son should identify Himself completely with the human race. And yet He did, for reasons He set forth clearly in His Word.
Before we examine those reasons, it would be well at the outset to distinguish between the Incarnation and the Virgin Birth of our Lord, two truths sometimes confused by students of Scripture. The Incarnation of the Son of God is the fact of God becoming Man the Virgin Birth is the method by which God the Son became Man.
These two truths, while distinct and different, are closely related to each other and stand in support of each other. If Jesus Christ was not virgin born, then He was not God in the flesh and was therefore only a man possessing the same sinful nature that every fallen child of Adam possesses. The fact of the Incarnation lies in the ever-existing One putting aside His eternal glory to become a man. The method of the Incarnation is the manner by which He chose to come, namely, the miraculous conception in the womb of a virgin.
A noteworthy passage pertinent to the Divine purpose in the Incarnation is recorded in the Gospel according to John-- ''And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us (and we beheld His glory. the glory as of the only begotten of the Father), full of grace and truth'' (John 1:14).
Cerinthus, a representative of the system which arose in the early church under the name of Docetism, claimed that our Lord had only an apparent human body. But the statement, ''the Word became flesh," indicates that He had a real body.
John 1:14 cannot be fully appreciated apart from verse one: ''In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God . . . And the Word became flesh." He who was one with the Father from all eternity became Man, taking upon Him a human body. He ''was with God'' (vs. 1) He ''became flesh" (vs. 14). He “was with God”' (vs. 1) He ''dwelt among us'' (vs. 14). From the infinite position of eternal Godhood to the finite limitations of manhood! Unthinkable but true!
Paul gives another significant passage on the Incarnation in his Galatian Epistle: ''But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons'' (Galatians 4:4, 5). In these verses Paul establishes the fact of the Incarnation-- " God sent forth His Son, made of a woman."
God sending His Son presupposes that God had a Son. Christ was the Son in His eternal relationship with the Father, not because He was born of Mary. Since a son shares the nature of his father, so our Lord shares the Godhead coequally with His Father. Yes, "God sent forth His Son," from His throne on high, from His position of heavenly glory. God did not send one forth who, in His birth, became His Son, but He sent One who, through all eternity, was His Son. Centuries before Christ was born, the Prophet Isaiah wrote of Him, ''For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given . . . '' (Isaiah 9:6). The Son was given in eternity past before we knew Him. His human birth was merely the method of coming to us.
Again, Paul records the following noteworthy statement in the Epistle to the Philippians: ''Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also bath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father'' (Philippians 2:5-10).
Before His Incarnation Jesus Christ was ''in the form of God'' (vs. 6). From the beginning He had the nature of God, He existed (or subsisted) as God, and that essential Deity which He once was could never cease to be. If He seems Divine, it is only because He is Divine. He is God.
He ''thought it not robbery to be equal with God'' (vs. 6). The eternal Son did not consider it a thing to be seized unlawfully to be equal with the Father. Equality with God was not something He retained by force or by farce. He possessed it in eternity past and no power could take it from Him. But in the Incarnation He laid aside, not His possession of Deity, but His position in and expression of the heavenly glory.
One of the purposes of the Philippian epistle was to check the rising tide of dissension and strife growing out of Christians thinking more highly of themselves than they ought to think. Being a general letter, it exposes no false doctrines but does enunciate our Lord Jesus Christ as the believer's pattern in humiliation, self-denial, and loving service for others. This is evident in the seven downward steps of the Saviour's renunciation of Himself.
(1) ''He made Himself of no reputation." God emptied Himself! He did not lose His Deity when He became Man, for God is immutable and therefore cannot cease to be God. He always was God the Son He continued to be God the Son in His earthly sojourn as Man He is God the Son in heaven today as He will remain throughout eternity. He is ''Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever" (Hebrews 13:8).
(2) ''He took upon Him the form of a servant.'' His was a voluntary act of amazing grace, the almighty Sovereign stooping to become earth's lowly Servant. Instead of expressing Himself as one deserving to be served, He revealed Himself as one desiring to serve others. He did not boast His eternal glory and right to be ministered to, but instead evinced His humility and desire to minister. ''The Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many'' (Matthew 20:28).
(3) "He was made in the likeness of men." This phrase expresses the full reality of His humanity. He participated in the same flesh and blood as man (Hebrews 2:14). Although He entered into a new state of being, His becoming Man did not exclude His possession of Deity, for He was and is today a Person who is both God and Man, Divine and human, perfect in His Deity and perfect in His humanity.
(4) ''And being found in fashion as a man." When He came into the world, Christ associated with His contemporaries and did not hold Himself aloof. Thus He manifested to all that He was a real Man. One obvious distinction marked our Lord's humanity His perfection and sinlessness. As a Man He was made under the law, yet He never violated the law. As a Man He was tempted in all three points in which we are tempted (I John 2:16), yet His temptation was apart from any thought, word, or act of sin.
(5) "He humbled Himself." The world has never witnessed a more genuine act of self-humbling. So completely did our Lord humble Himself that He surrendered His will to the will of His Father in heaven. His desire was to do the will of the Father, therefore He could testify, "I do always those things that please Him" (John 8:29). It was humiliation for the eternal Son of God to become flesh in a stable, and then to dwell in a humble home in subjection to a human parent. God was ''sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin'' (Romans 8:30). Only eternity will reveal the depth of meaning for Him and for us found in those words, " He humbled Himself."
(6) "He became obedient unto death." Remarkable indeed! Here the God-man dies. Did He die as God, or did He die as Man? He died as the God-Man. The first Adam's obedience would have been unto life, but because he disobeyed unto death, the last Adam must now obey unto death in order that He might deliver the first Adam's posterity ''out of death into life'' (John 5:24 R.V.). ''For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive" (1 Corinthians 15:22). To subject Himself to the cruel death of a criminal on the cross was a necessary part of God's plan of salvation for men, and to such a death our Lord voluntarily submitted. Implicit obedience!
(7) '' . . . even the death of the cross." Our Lord died as no other person died or ever will die. Other men had died on crosses, but this Man, the eternal Son of God, voluntarily and willingly died the kind of death meted out to criminals, even the death upon a cross. His own countrymen considered crucifixion the worst kind of disgrace. In their law it was written, "For he that is hanged is accursed of God'' (Deuteronomy 21:23 cf. Galatians 3:13). Not only did our Lord die, but He died bearing the burden of the worst of criminals and the guiltiest of sinners. Down He came from heaven's glory to earth's sin and shame through His Incarnation.
The purposes underlying this phenomenal occurrence can be summed up in seven points.
He Came to Reveal God to Man
The Incarnation of the Son of God unites earth to heaven. God's greatest revelation of Himself to man is in Jesus Christ. Revelation is the disclosure of truth previously unknown. Before the coming of the Son of God to earth many varied forms of revelation existed. Belief in the existence of God is innate. Since man is a rational, moral being, his very nature provides him with intuitive knowledge. As the mind of a child begins to unfold, it instinctively and intuitively recognizes a Being above and beyond the world that he experiences.
Man is so constituted that he recognizes the fact and the power of God by the things that are made. Many of the ancient philosophers marveled at the starry heavens above them and the moral law about them. We live in a world of order and harmony conducive to our happiness and well being, and we, too, recognize a revelation of God in nature.
The Apostle Paul wrote, "Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead so that they are without excuse" (Romans 1:19, 20). Men may hinder or suppress the truth by their unrighteous living, but there is that which may be known of God which ''is manifest in them." The existence and power of God are discernible to us all by the things we observe in the external world. Those only who have abnormal, distorted, or biased minds can possibly deny God's existence.
Job realized that the nature of God in its different characteristics and qualities was not all revealed to man, yet he knew, as all men know, that the omnipotence and unchangeableness of God are exhibited in creation (Job 6:10 23:12). The savage and the scientist can know two things about God He is a Being and He is supreme. These are the two things God has been pleased to reveal about Himself.
Do not plead innocence for the man who does not possess a copy of God's Word. All men have a Bible bound with the covers of the day and the night whose print is the stars and the planets. What is knowable about God has been displayed openly, and any man who suppresses the truth does it "without excuse." Nature reveals the supernatural, and creation reveals the Creator. Read Psalm 19:1-6 and you will see that the heavens are personified to proclaim the glory of their Creator. Day and night pass on their testimonies giving clear evidence of the existence of the One who made them.
There are other evidences of primeval revelations of God to man, such as to Adam (Genesis 3:8) and to Abraham (Genesis 12:1-3 26:3-5). The writer to the Hebrews quotes the Son speaking to the Father, in which reference is made to an early primitive and temporary revelation through a book which God allowed to pass out of existence (Hebrews 10:5-7). Doubtless there were other books which likewise have passed out of existence, as the Book of Enoch of which Jude made mention (Jude 14).
We know, further, that God often revealed Himself in dreams as when He spoke to Jacob (Genesis 28), to the patriarch Joseph (Genesis 37), to Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 2-4), to Joseph (Matthew 1:20), and to others. Through Moses and the prophets God revealed Himself (Exodus 3:4 and chapter 20). Over thirty-five authors, writing over a period of fifteen hundred years, wrote consistently and coherently, by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, of one historically accurate plan of salvation. The Bible in its entirety is a progressive revelation of God.
But of all the amazing revelations of almighty God, none was set forth more clearly and fully than God's final revelation of Himself in the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ. Since God is an infinite Being, no man could understand Him fully save the Son who is One in equality with the Father. Jesus said, ''. . . neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal Him'' (Matthew 11:27). Here, then, is one reason for the Incarnation—to reveal God to man. The fact of God's existence may be seen through test tubes and laboratory experiments, detected through microscope and telescope, and stated in the discussions of the seminar. But the glorious attributes of a loving God manifested in behalf of sinners can be found in no place or person apart from Jesus Christ.
Philip said to the Lord Jesus, ''Lord, shew us the Father . . . " and our Lord answered, ''. . . He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father . . . " (John 14:8, 9). When the Word became flesh He brought to man an adequate revelation of God. Whatever the ancient seers and saints knew about God before Jesus came, we have a more adequate revelation. Since God remains an abstraction until we see Him in terms of personality, so the Son became Incarnate that we might see and know God. ''No man hath seen God at anytime the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared Him'' (John 1:1, 8, 9).
The dictionary definition of the word ''light'' means nothing to a blind man, but one glimpse of a glowworm would be worth more for the understanding of light than all the definitions in the world. One glimpse of Jesus Christ will bring God closer to the human mind and heart than all the theological definitions of Him. No man could perceive the grace of God until the almighty Sovereign of the universe stooped to the level of His own creatures, suffering cruel treatment and dying the death of shame for them. No man understood fully the patience and longsuffering of the Father until Jesus Christ who, when He was reviled, reviled not again, and when He suffered, threatened not (I Peter 2:23). No man can comprehend just how perfect and holy God is until He comes face to face with the sinless Son of God. God has revealed Himself anew to the intelligence of man through the Incarnation.
He Came to Reveal Man to Himself
Through His Incarnation Jesus Christ reveals man to himself. He shows us what we are and what we may become. As we study the purposes of God in Christ, the fact impresses us that man is grossly ignorant of his real self, and that the mission of the Son's coming included a plan that would enable man to see and know himself as God sees and knows him. We are not the least bit impressed with man's vain philosophical views of himself, but rather with the accurate historical account of man as it is recorded in the Bible.
The primary fact that man needs to know about himself is his origin. Men are divided in their theories concerning this. We are not strangers to the evolutionary idea which attempts to explain man's place in the earth. In 1871 Darwin published his book, The Descent of Man, but he said very little that had not been said before. The idea of evolution might be here to stay, but not because Darwin said so. Evolution was taught by Roman and Greek philosophers and even by ancient Egyptians. But the evolutionary idea that man must swallow his pride and be content with the fact that he has oozed from the slime along with the snails is contrary to the revelation in Scripture.
The Bible teaches clearly that the human race had its origin by the immediate creation of God (Genesis 1:26, 27) and that man is the grand consummation of all creation. We are forced to accept this view as against the theory of evolution because of the immeasurable gulf which separates man, even in his barest savage condition, from the nearest order of creation below him. Moreover, history corroborates Scripture in that man was destined to rule over all other animal life. God took special care in the creation of man, for " God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him male and female created He them" (Genesis 1:27). Actually it was not the body of man that was created, for the body was merely ''formed'' of those elements necessary for man's body and which were created long before man (Genesis 1:1). What was new in man's creation was a form of life which only God and man possess (Genesis 2:7). Created in the image and likeness of God, man differs from every other form of animal. Man, in his lowest estate, seeks an object of worship and has been known to bow before gods that he cannot see, but animals never!
However, man did not retain God's image and likeness. When God placed our first parents in Eden He set before them one simple restriction, namely, not to eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for, said God, "In the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die" (Genesis 2:17). Genesis 3 is a record of the fall of man. He disobeyed God and immediately the life-cord was severed. Adam died both physically and spiritually. Physical death began to do its work, and the grave for Adam was but a matter of time. Then, too, his spirit was separated from God, so that he was dead spiritually while alive physically.
Now all men, from Adam down, are born into this world spiritually dead in sin, possessing a sin-nature capable of every trespass against God (Ephesians 2:1). The sin-nature of Adam and the guilt of his sin were imputed to the whole human race, so that Adam's corrupted nature is of necessity a part of all his posterity. The highest self in man is altogether unprofitable to God. All men are not equally corrupt in word and deed, but all are equally dead, and unless the function of death is brought to a halt, it will destroy not only the body but also the soul in hell. Because of the solidarity of the human race, sin and death have passed upon all men (Romans 5:12). When Adam defaced the Divine image and lost the Divine likeness, he begat sons ''in his own likeness, after his image" (Genesis 5:3). Yes, "by man came death" and ''in Adam all die" (I Corinthians 15:21, 22).
While all of this is clearly stated in the Bible, man still thinks of himself more highly than he ought to think. There were many who had no Scriptures at all in Christ's day, and they needed this revelation. In order that man should see himself, not in the light of his own goodness, but beside the perfect standard of God's holy Son, the Son of God became Incarnate. Our Lord said, ''If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloke for their sin" (John 15:22).
Responsibility increases with knowledge, and so Christ's coming showed man how far short he came of God's standard of a righteous man. The Lord Jesus said, "If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin . . . " (John 15:24). Our Lord did not mean by this statement that man would have been without sin if He had not come. There had been sin all along, as God's dealings with the human race through its four thousand years of earlier history prove. But the coming of Christ to the earth revealed the heart of man in cruel hatred for Divine holiness. The Son of God Incarnate was sinless in every respect, yet man, Jew and Gentile alike, crucified Him. Alongside Christ's perfect life and works, man can see the sin and guilt of his own heart.
When man sinned against the Son of God, he sinned against the clearest possible light, "the Light of the world'' (John 8:12). He came unto His own and His own received Him not (John 1:11), and then Gentiles joined hands with ''His own'' to put Him to death. How sinful is the heart of man? Look at that spectacle on Calvary's hill and you will see human hearts and hands at their worst.
Time has not improved human nature. Today men still trample under food the precious blood of Christ, and if our blessed Lord were to appear in person today as He did nineteen centuries ago, the world would crucify him again. The world, having seen the light, has turned from the light, for "men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil'' (John 3:19). Romans 1:18 to 3:20 enunciates the most searching and conclusive arraignment of the human race found anywhere, and the birth and death of Jesus Christ attest to the truth of this awful indictment.
The Apostle Paul states clearly the purpose of the Incarnation in the following words--''But when the fulness of the was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law" (Galatians 4:4, 5). The Old Testament contains the accurate record of some four thousand years of sin, human failure, and consequent Divine judgment. The one bright hope was the coming of the promised Seed, the Redeemer (Genesis 3:15). With each succeeding revelation from God, the promise grew clearer and the hope brighter. The prophets spoke of the Messiah who would come to deliver the people from their sins. Perhaps the classic prophecy is Isaiah 53. Since the people needed a deliverer from the guilt and penalty of sin, the intent of the Incarnation was to provide that Deliverer. Moreover, all of history and prophecy moved toward that goal even as all subsequent movements have proceeded from it.
Jesus Christ is man's Redeemer, his Saviour. This truth is implied in His name. Said the angel, " Thou shalt call his name JESUS (meaning Saviour), for He shall save His people from their sins" (Matthew 1:21). At His birth the angel testified again, "For unto you is born this day in the city of David a
Saviour, which is Christ the Lord" (Luke 2:11). Even the Lord Jesus Himself voiced emphatically the purpose of His Incarnation when He said, "For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost" (Luke 19:10).
The awful state of the world of mankind necessitated the coming of the Redeemer since there could be no hope of deliverance apart from Him. The character of God, which is righteousness, absolute and uncompromising, demands that every sin be dealt with. While God is merciful, gracious, and slow to anger, forgiving iniquities and transgressions, ''that will by no means clear the guilty " (Exodus 34:7)., While God is love, God is also holy and righteous, so holy that He is "of purer eyes than to behold evil, and [canst] not look on iniquity'' (Habakkuk 1:13). His righteousness demands that every sin must be dealt with impartially. In order to be true to Himself, God had to deal with the problem of sin. In order to deal justly and, at the same time, mercifully, someone had to suffer the death penalty for the sin of the world.
In the Person of Jesus Christ God solved the problem of the eternal well-being of the sinner. He sent His Son to die as the sinner's perfect Substitute, and thereby redeemed the sinner. Man was lost to God and heaven, and God's purpose in redemption could be realized only through the Incarnate Son of God, for the Son of God Incarnate is the connecting link bringing together God and sinful man. The sinner's relation to Jesus Christ is vital. Christ became a man "that He by the grace of God should taste death for every man" (Hebrews 2:9). The Word, who is the eternal Son of God, became flesh and was obliged to be made in the likeness of man in order to redeem him.
Christ defined the purpose of His Incarnation and earthly ministry when He said, "I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance" (Mark 2:17). There is no implication in these words that there is a sinful class of men who need repentance and another righteous class who do not. Nor is there a suggestion that there are "righteous ones," for in Romans 3:10 it is said, "There is none righteous, no, not one."
Consider the conditions under which Christ stated this purpose. Scribes and Pharisees were upbraiding Him because He had gone into the house of Levi to eat with publicans and sinners (Mark 2:14-16). His critics exalted themselves above sinners, priding themselves in an unpossessed righteousness which thereby excluded them from any realization or acknowledgement of their own sin.
In Levi's house, however, there were those who recognized their sinful state. It was for this reason that the Lord Jesus went to that group, namely, to bring salvation to them. Physicians go into sick rooms, not because of the pleasantness of disease and suffering, but because of a desire to relieve and cure the sick. So sinners are the special objects of the Saviour's love and power. He came into the world to save sinners.
Although all men are unrighteous, those scribes and Pharisees called themselves ''righteous," for they were possessed of self-righteousness that is as "filthy rags" in God's sight (Isaiah 64:6). Therefore, as they went about seeking to establish their own righteousness, they failed to see the purpose of His coming. Hence they never heeded the Saviour's call to salvation. Their kind seldom do!
Had there been righteousness in the human heart, there would have been no need for the Incarnation of the Son of God. And only in the self-righteous heart of the religious, moral man, satisfied with himself, do we find the careless indifference to the Gospel of redemption. When a man assumes a righteousness all his own, he is outside the reach of the Great Physician. The man who excludes his own need of Christ misses the purpose of the Saviour's coming and will not be saved. Each of us must say with the Apostle Paul, " This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners of whom I am chief" (I Timothy 1:15).
He Came to Restrain Satan
The purpose of the Incarnation is further revealed in the Epistle to the Hebrews. Three verses, linked together, assert that the coming of Jesus Christ was to destroy the devil. "But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour that He by the grace of God should taste death for every man . . . Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same [flesh and blood] that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage" (Hebrews 2:9, 14, 15).
In these three verses in Hebrews, we are reminded that the subject of death is dealt with in each of them, and the fact of the Incarnation is substantiated in the clause, "who was made a little lower than the angels." Furthermore, the purpose of the Incarnation appears in the words, "that He by the grace of God should taste death for every man." From this verse, as well as verse 14, it is evident that the eternal Son became flesh in order to die.
Christ's crucifixion by wicked hands was "by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God" (Acts 2:23). Our Lord Jesus Christ testified, "The Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many" (Matthew 20:28). Jesus Christ willed to die, not a sudden and unexpected death but a lingering, anticipated death that He would taste every day of His earthly sojourn. He became man to suffer death.
But why should it be so? We considered the purpose of the Incarnation relative to the sin question. Referring to the matter of death, the Word affirms that the Son of God became incarnate that "through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil." Of all the works of Satan, among the worst is that of destroying life. Our Lord testified, "He was a murderer from the beginning" (John 8:44). Satan is the spoiler of humanity, his malignant purpose being to bring both physical and spiritual death to mankind.
God placed our first parents in the Garden of Eden and surrounded them with every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. Two of these trees are mentioned ''the tree of life . . . and the tree of knowledge of good and evil" (Genesis 2:9). Eating the fruit of the latter tree would bring sin and death, for, said God, " In the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die" (Genesis 2:17). Satan knew this, therefore we are not surprised when we read that it was of the fruit of this very tree of death that he enticed Eve to eat. He chose the tree of death because he is a murderer. He knew that the death sentence was already pronounced upon all who would eat of it. He delighted in the fall of Adam and Eve, for he knew that physical and spiritual death had struck.
But thanks be to God for the Incarnation of His Son. By the coming of Jesus Christ into the world, through His death and resurrection, He wrested from Satan the power of death. Death no more holds its lethal grip upon the believer. Although death has held sinners in bondage ever since the severing of the life-cord between God and man, the appearing of the Lord Jesus has broken its grip. "According to His own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began . . . the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the Gospel" (II Timothy 1:9, 10).
Before sin was indulged in and death struck, the inclusive salvation plan provided death's abolition. Since the death and resurrection of our Lord dealt comprehensively with sin, it of necessity affected death. The coming of the Saviour rendered death harmless, and the "sting" of it is gone (I Corinthians 15:55). Oh, the blessedness of an accomplished redemption! How wonderful to know Him who said, " I am He that liveth, and was dead and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen and have the keys of hell and of death" (Revelation 1:18). Death once held man in the vise of hopeless doom, but now Satan is defeated.
The shadow of the cross hung over the manger in Bethlehem, assuring the world that the Seed of the woman would bruise the serpent's head (Genesis 3:15). As Adam yielded himself to Satan, Satan held him in death but by His dying, Christ entered into our death and wrested from Satan that power which he held over us. At Calvary Satan was brought to naught, and now "death is swallowed up in victory. . . Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ" (I Corinthians 15:54, 57). "The prince of this world is judged" (John 16:1 1). The Seed of the woman traversed the realms of death but was not captured by the enemy. Instead, He conquered the enemy. Thank God the Saviour came.
He Came to Rescue the Whole Creation
The Incarnation of the eternal Son is part of the divine plan. That plan comprehends a goal, and God assures the accomplishment of it. Though the salvation of man was God's chief concern, His plan was never limited to the world of mankind. It is written of the eternal Son, who was with God and who is God, that "all things were made by Him" (John 1:3). Paul writes, ''For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth'' (Colossians 1:28). Man was higher than all other created beings in the earth, and other creatures were subject to him. However, after the fall this condition changed. Now if man is to have dominion over the beasts, he must first capture them at the risk of his own life, and then imprison them until they are tamed. All of this resulted from the fall.
But the question is, Will God restore again to man the dominion which he lost through the fall? The prophet said, ''The wolf also shall lie down with the kid and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed their young ones shall lie down together and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the suckling child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cocatrice's den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea" (Isaiah 11:6-9). Indeed, it appears that the prophet here is looking beyond to a time of rescue and restoration of the earth and all of its creatures.
The cruelty of beasts was not the order before sin entered. Such discord among God's creatures has sprung from the sinfulness of man and is a necessary part of the curse. To remove this curse and rescue God's creation is one of the purposes of the Incarnation. When Christ comes back to reign and "the government shall be upon His shoulder" (Isaiah 9:6), then the sons of God will be manifested and will share with Him in a restored creation. If it were not so, then all of animated nature would remain spoiled by Satan. But God has said, "In that day will I make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven, and with the creeping things of the ground" (Hosea 2:18). Yes, God will "gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth, even in Him'' (Ephesians 1:10). At that day our blessed Lord will "reconcile all things unto Himself' (Colossians 1:20).
Many Christians fail to see that this redemptive work, wrought through the Incarnation of the Son of God, is wider than the salvation of human beings and that it affects the whole creation. The Apostle Paul writes, " For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope. Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the first-fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. (Romans 8:19-23). Here we are told that the deliverance of the whole creation will be revealed at the manifestation of the sons of God.
All creation lies in hope (expectancy) of a rescue from present corruption and of deliverance to that place God gave it in the beginning. Nature is now under the curse of sin, groaning and travailing in pain. It is not what it was at first. Nor is it now what it will be when the incarnate Son returns to "put all things in subjection under His feet" (see Hebrews 2:5-9). Before Adam sinned, no savage beasts, no desert wastes, no thorns and thistles existed but when he fell, all creation fell with him. Now that the Son of God has come and purchased redemption by His death at Calvary, the whole creation must be rescued from the curse, and restored to its original state.
He Came to Restore Israel
Any reader of the Old Testament cannot escape the clear teaching that the Messiah was promised to Israel. Of this the prophets spoke and wrote. The Jew had great advantages. "Unto them were committed the oracles of God" (Romans 3:2). Theirs was "the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises" (Romans 9:4). None can deny that from the call of Abraham (Genesis 12:1) to the Babylonian captivity under Nebuchadnezzar (606 B.C.), authority in the earth and divine representation was vested in the Jew. It is common information that since the overthrow of Jerusalem and the transfer of dominion in the earth to the Gentiles, Israel, as a nation, has not held authority in the earth.
When Jesus Christ, the Word, "was made flesh," "He came unto His own, and His own received Him not" (John 1:11, 14). ''His citizens hated Him, and sent a message after Him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us" (Luke 19:14). In blind unbelief the children of Abraham, refusing to recognize or receive Him, drove Him from their midst and crucified Him. After His resurrection and ascension He revealed to the apostles this mystery. No longer did Israel have priority on the truth, but the message was to be spread abroad to every creature and, during the present dispensation of grace, God would visit the Gentiles to take out of them a people for His name (Acts 15:14).
When Christ came the first time He traversed Palestine proclaiming, " Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand" (Matthew 4:17). He opened the door into the kingdom, but only the regenerated could enter. Were the people ready to receive the kingdom, the King would establish it. However, the offer of the kingdom met with an ever-increasing opposition, and our Lord withdrew the offer for that time. He said to the Jews, ''Therefore say I unto you, The Kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof" (Matthew 21:43). There was no mistaking what the Lord Jesus meant, for the chief priests and Pharisees "perceived that He spake of them" (vs. 45).
Israel is still set aside, but only temporarily. The Apostle Paul writes, ''I say then, Hath God cast away His people? God forbid . . . God hath not cast away His people which He foreknew . . . For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in" (Romans 11:1, 2, 25).
Anti-Semitism, raging throughout the world today, might lead one to question the future restoration of the Jew. Yet we know that both national restoration and national regeneration for the Jew are a definite part of the plan of God. Israel is not beyond recovery she is not irretrievably lost. By her fall the whole world was blessed with the message of salvation. A national tragedy resulted in an international triumph. ''And so all Israel shall be saved'' (Romans 10:26). The Jew lives in a dark present with a bright future before him. When our Lord said in Matthew 21:43, that "the kingdom shall be given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof," He was not referring to any Gentile nation but to regenerated Israel.
God gave Palestine to the Jews unconditionally as a possession and a dwelling place (Genesis 12:1-3). He wants them there. That the Jews would be scattered is plainly taught in the Word of God, but coupled with such teaching are the assertions that they will also be regathered. Study Hosea 3:4,5 and see plainly the scattering and the gathering with the period between. (See also Ezekiel 36:19,24). The Word became flesh and tabernacled among them once (John 1:14). That same holy One, the incarnate Christ, will come again to tabernacle with Israel. Study, for example, such passages as Isaiah 12:1-6 Joel 2:26, 27 Zephaniah 3:14-17 Zechariah 8:3-8. Already modern inventions have revolutionized Palestine and its surrounding territory. This fact, coupled with the thought of the vast area granted by God to Abraham (Genesis 15:18), will assure any interested person that there is ample room in the Holy Land to hold all Jews.
While the Jews continue to return to the Land, all signs point to the return of the incarnate Son, the One who is both human and Divine, and the One in whom God's purposes for Israel are to be fulfilled. According to prophecy, the incarnate One, Immanuel, the virgin's Son, is to occupy David's throne. ''For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. Of the increase of government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this'' (Isaiah 9:6, 7). Let us rejoice to see that day approaching.
He Came to Reign
When the Incarnation had been announced, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, saying, "Where is He that is born king of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the east, and are come to worship Him" (Matthew 2:1, 2). They were wise men indeed, for they were followers of the truth of God. When the Old Testament prophets wrote of Messiah's offices, they included that of King. "Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy king cometh unto thee: He is just, and having salvation: lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass" (Zechariah 9:9). David wrote of Christ and His kingdom when he recorded the words of God, "Yet have I set My king upon My holy hill of Zion" (Psalm 2:6). Our Lord is not only Prophet, and Priest, but also Potentate.
In studying the purposes of the Incarnation we are forced to the scriptural observation that the eternal Son became Man in order that He might be King of the earth. Paul wrote that "God hath highly exalted Him" (Philippians 2:9). We dare not limit the exaltation of Christ as some try to do. We acquiesce with those who teach that the steps in Christ's exaltation were His resurrection, ascension, and His sitting at the right hand of God. But such teaching does not go far enough. Study carefully Philippians 2:5-11, and you will see that the steps in our Lord's humiliation were temporary steps leading to a permanent exaltation, culminating with the bowing of every knee and the confessing of every tongue in heaven and in earth, that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
The incarnate Son is to appear in His resurrection body and is to sit on the throne of His glory. Jesus Himself spoke of the day "when the Son of man shall come in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him then shall He sit upon the throne of His glory" (Matthew 25:31). John writes, ''Every eye shall see Him'' (Revelation 1:7). The prophetic utterance spoken by God to David in 2 Samuel 7:12-16 concerning David's seed having an everlasting throne and kingdom, has a double fulfillment. Primarily it referred to Solomon's temple. Ultimately and finally it speaks of Christ's earthly reign as Zechariah 6:12 shows. The day must come when all things will be subjected unto Him (I Corinthians 15:28).
The Psalmist spoke of His throne as an enduring throne (Psalm 89:4, 29, 36). God promises that this earthly throne and kingdom are to continue forever, and that the One to occupy it shall be David's seed, his rightful Son (I Chronicles 17:11). The genealogies in Matthew 1 and Luke 3 will support the relationship of Jesus Christ to David. During our Lord's earthly ministry, those who sought His help called Him "the son of David" (see Matthew 9:27 Mark 10:47 Luke 18:38).
Christ's kingdom is literal, therefore it cannot be realized apart from the Incarnation. Such a kingdom men have been trying to establish for centuries, but nations are farther from realizing it today than ever before. A perfect kingdom demands a perfect King. At the end of the conflict of the ages, Jesus Christ, the God-Man will return to earth to establish His righteous kingdom which will never be destroyed. His kingdom of glory, and His throne in the midst, was God's first promise through the mouth of the angel Gabriel to Mary, and it links together the Incarnation and reign of the Son of God, ''And behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His father David: and he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever and of His kingdom there shall be no end" (Luke 1:31-33).
When the King comes, then will His perfect will be done in earth as it is in heaven. This is a blessed truth not without history or hope. The day will surely come when all men will see the revelation of the glory of holiness and joy in the earth. But His reign awaits His return to carry away His Bride, the Church. Everything has been deferred until He gathers her unto Himself. It may be at any moment that the last soul will be added to the Church, and then He will come.
This meditation in no wise exhausts the divine purposes of the Incarnation. Others have written at greater length and, doubtless, we could do likewise. But one thing more must be said. The supreme purpose in the eternal Son's coming into the world was to glorify the Father. In His great intercessory prayer, Jesus said, " I have glorified Thee on the earth: I have finished the work which Thou gavest Me to do" (John 17:4). God had been glorified in creation, in the remarkable deliverances of His people, and in the exercise of His power over His enemies, but at no time had He been glorified like this. God could never have been glorified if the Son would have failed in His earthly mission in the smallest degree. But the Lord Jesus could say, " I have finished the work which Thou gavest Me to do." Nothing was left undone, and in everything He did, the Son had the Father's glory in view. He glorified the Father His earthly mission was complete.
And now to all of us who have been redeemed by His precious blood, the Apostle Paul writes: "For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's" (I Corinthians 6:20).
A-level: A Buddha from Mathura
Seated Buddha with Two Attendants is an early example of the Buddha shown in anthropomorphic (human) form. The historic Buddha, born a prince named Siddhartha Gautama, is believed to have lived and preached in the fifth century B.C.E. When he died, his relics and the stupas that came to symbolize the Buddha became the primary focus of devotion for his followers.
Great Stupa at Sanchi, 3rd c. B.C.E.–1st c. C.E., Sanchi, Madhya Pradesh (photo: AyushDwivedi1947, CC BY-SA 4.0)
The Buddha was not shown in human form in early Indian art, but rather, in aniconic (symbolic) form. Stupas were adorned with visually engaging stories that celebrated the Buddha with symbols—footprints, thrones, and parasols, for example—that signified the presence of the Buddha and commanded the respect that the Buddha himself would receive.
The reasons for avoiding anthropomorphic representations of the Buddha in those early centuries may have centered on the belief that the Buddha—who had lived 550 lifetimes and had achieved nirvana (liberation from the cycle of karmic rebirth)—was freed of the human form. By the turn of the common era, however, Buddhist beliefs had changed. The Buddha was deified, and with the development of the anthropomorphic Buddha, devotees were given a new focus for their ritual practices in shrines and monasteries.
Smiling, the Buddha sits cross-legged and rests a closed fist on his left knee. Layers of cloth gathered on his left arm and shoulder fall gracefully down his back, while the curved indentation across his chest and across his calves suggests the lightness of his robe. The Buddha holds his right hand up in abhaya mudra— a gesture of protection and reassurance. Wheels (marked on the palm of his hand and on his feet) and lotuses on his feet announce the Buddha’s divinity. Other signifiers of his godliness, such as the ushnisha (cranial protuberance, see image below ) and urna (auspicious mark on the forehead) have been lost over time. The ushnisha would have been covered by a tightly twisted hair–bun and centered above the Buddha’s head, while the urna was likely once a small rock crystal. The historic Buddha’s life as a prince prior to his enlightenment is referenced by his elongated ears, which were caused by the heavy jewelry that he once wore.
To visualize the lost ushnisha and urna on the Seated Buddha with Two Attendants (left), 132 C.E. (Kimbell Art Museum), we can compare it with another early Buddha image, the Katra stele (right), end of the 1st century C.E. (Government Museum, Mathura) (photo: Biswarup Ganguly, CC BY-3.0)
Although the mottled red color of the stone in the Seated Buddha is striking, our attention is focused on the sculptors’ meticulous carving. A close look at the Buddha shows carefully outlined fingers on his left hand and a beautifully detailed thumb and fingernail, a realistic portrayal of the knees and wrists, and a softly modeled stomach. The face is also particularly compelling, and we can almost see the Buddha’s chin lift as he smiles.
The Buddha’s Attendants
Gods and goddesses in Indian art are often accompanied by attendants, and here the Buddha has two. The artists have employed a technique known as hierarchic scaling to emphasize the Buddha’s importance because the smaller scale of the attendant figures highlights his monumentality. Imagine how the Buddha would tower over his attendants if he were to stand! The attendants mirror one another in their stances and adornment, and they both carry a chauri (fly-whisk) in their right hand in a gesture that indicates their service to the Buddha . Subtle differences in their facial features and in their headdresses suggest individual personalities.
Seated Buddha shown with approximate halo (Kimbell Art Museum) and Stele with Bodhisattva and Two Attendants, c. 2nd century C.E., red sandstone, 7 5/16 x 8 7/16 x 2 3/4 inches (Harvard Art Museums)
This type of representation of the Buddha appears to have been popular in the second century C.E. Comparing the Seated Buddha to similar stelae from the same period helps us determine its missing parts. Looking at a stele known as the Katra stele (after Katra, an archaeological site in Mathura, India) and another titled Stele with Bodhisattva and Two Attendants in the collection of the Harvard Art Museums, we can see that the upper portion of the Seated Buddha may have once had a large halo and flying celestial beings. Halos (referencing rays of light) and celestial beings signify divine radiance and the attendance of a heavenly retinue.
Detail of relief panel (highlighted) and inscription on the dais, Seated Buddha (Kimbell Art Museum)
Inscriptions and dates
On the face of the carved dais are rampant leogryphs and a pair of attendants who flank a pillar. The Buddhist character of the pillar is evident by the wheel (the wheel symbolizes the Buddha’s teachings) that is shown in profile at its summit. The pillar and the wheel represent the Buddha and his teachings, and are flanked by attendants just as the figure of the Buddha is above.
The relief panel is framed by two lines of text in Sanskrit.  Inscriptions such as these record donors’ gifts for posterity and include the date of the donation. These dates followed the regnal years of the king who was in power at that time. The inscription on the Seated Buddha mentions the dedication of the image during the fourth year of the Kushan dynasty (c. 2nd century B.C.E.—3rd century C.E.) king Kanishka. Although scholars continue to refine the year in which Kanishka ascended the throne, the current consensus suggests that the image would have been dedicated in c. 132 C.E. Seated Buddha is one of only a few Buddha images that has been dated with an inscription to this early period in the common era. Having this frame of reference is invaluable because it helps scholars date stylistically similar images to this period.
The Kushan and Gupta period
Gandhara and Mathura
The sandstone from which Seated Buddha was carved was preferred by the artist workshops of Mathura, a city in northern India. Mathura and the Gandhara region (in present-day Pakistan) have yielded the earliest known anthropomorphic representations of the Buddha. Both Gandhara and Mathura were under the rulership of the Kushan kings at the turn of the common era and were important political centers the Kushans’ winter capital was located in Mathura and their summer capital in Gandhara.
A comparison of Buddhas from Mathura and Gandhara. Left: Katra stele, Government Museum, Mathura (photo: Biswarup Ganguly, CC BY-3.0) right: The Buddha, c. 2nd–3rd century C.E., from Gandhara, schist, approximately 37 x 21 x 9 inches (The British Museum). Note the differences in the style of the Buddhas’ hair, robe, and drapery.
The anthropomorphic form of the Buddha in Gandhara and Mathura developed simultaneously and yet resulted in remarkably distinct styles.  The Gandhara region’s encounter with Alexander the Great in the fourth century B.C.E. and its history of Indo-Greek rulers in the centuries thereafter meant that a classical and Hellenistic (Greek) style of art and architecture was a part of the Gandhara region’s artistic vocabulary. Buddhas from Gandhara show a familiarity with Greco-Roman styles of sculpture this is apparent in the comparison below, for example, in the drapery, hair, facial features, and musculature of the Gandhara Buddha.
Comparison of a Buddha from Gandhara with a Roman sculpture. Left: Buddha, c. 2nd–3rd century C.E., Gandhara, schist (Tokyo National Museum) right: “Caligula,” 1st century C.E., Roman, marble (Virginia Museum of Fine Art)
As opposed to their Gandharan counterparts—with their inward-looking meditative expressions—Buddhas produced contemporaneously in Mathura look directly at us, as we see in the Seated Buddha. Their heads are smooth and topped with the kaparda (Sanskrit for a braided and coiled hairstyle ) in striking contrast to the stylized hair of the Buddhas of Gandhara. They are also most often depicted wearing monastic robes (known as sangati) with one shoulder left bare.
Left: Yaksha figure, c. 150 B.C.E., approximately 8 feet high (Government Museum, Mathura, photo: Biswarup Ganguly, CC BY-3.0) right: Bala Bodhisattva, c. 130 C.E., approximately 6 feet 7 inches (Sarnath Museum, ©Archaeological Survey of India)
Artists in Mathura were inspired by the regional style of sculptures. Art historians have suggested that one inspiration for the Mathura style of the Buddha may be images of yakshas (male fertility spirits). A comparison of a standing yaksha image with a standing sculpture known as the Bala Bodhisattva reveals shared commonalities in their monumental size, columnar character, emphatically frontal attitude, and broad shoulders.
Artists would have refined existing sculptural forms (like that of the Yaksha figure) to create the newly popular anthropomorphic form of the Buddha. Although Bala Bodhisattva is identified not as the Buddha but rather as a bodhisattva (a being who is on the path to enlightenment) the iconographic treatment of the Buddha and bodhisattvas is identical in this early period.
Images produced in Mathura in the Gupta period (c. 4th–7th centuries C.E.), like this Standing Buddha, would develop the Mathura style of the Kushan period even further. The Buddha’s facial features are softer, the folds on his robe (which will cover both of his shoulders) are a cascade of looped strings, his hair is beautifully coiled, and his eyes lower, looking inward.
Standing Buddha from the Gupta period and Seated Buddha with Two Attendants from the earlier Kushan period illustrate the development of the Buddha image in early history. Both images were produced in Mathura from the same stone and both represent a standard type of Buddha image from their respective eras. They are apt examples of how artistic processes and styles change over time.
 In particular, a type of “Buddhist Sanskrit.” See Gérard Fussman cited under References .
 The question of which style of Buddha came first (i.e., the Buddha from Mathura or Gandhara) and hence represents the earliest type of anthropomorphic Buddha image has been a long debated issue. See Ananda K. Coomaraswamy and Alfred Foucher cited below.
Ananda K. Coomaraswamy, “The Origin of the Buddha Image,” The Art Bulletin 9, no. 4 (1927): 287–329.
Vidya Dehejia, Indian Art (London: Phaidon Press, 1997).
Alfred Foucher, “The Greek Origin of the Image of Buddha.” In Alfred Foucher, The Beginnings of Buddhist Art and other Essays in Indian and Central–Asian Archaeology (Paris: Paul Geuthner, 1997), pp. 111–137.
Gérard Fussman, “Documents épigraphiques kochans (V). Buddha et Bodhisattva dans l’art de Mathura: deux Bodhisattvas inscrits de l’an 4 et l’an 8,” Bulletin de l’École française d’Extrême-Orient (1988), pp. 5–26.
Prudence R. Myer, “Bodhisattvas and Buddhas: Early Buddhist Images from Mathura,” Artibus Asiae 47, no. 2 (1986): 107–142.
Sonya Rhie Quintanilla, History of Early Stone Sculpture At Mathura, ca. 150 BCE–100 C.E. (Leiden: Brill, 2007).
Ju-Hyung Rhi, “From Bodhisattva to Buddha: The Beginning of Iconic Representation in Buddhist Art,” Artibus Asiae 54, no. 3 / 4 (1994): 207–225.