Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Hypostatic Union

Within the nature of Christ one must address the nature of the relationship between Jesus the man and Christ "the" God.  This brings us to a term not often heard call the Hypostatic Union which being defined is:

Hypostatic (adj), from hypostasis (n) meaning the essence or reality of something.  Therefore hypostatic describes the type of union which exists between Christ Jesus’ deity and His humanity at its very core.  It is not accurate to describe this in a plural sense i.e. Christ and Jesus occupying one body rather it is a perfect union between the attributes of His deity and His humanity so that the “two” are one in essence, and yet they remain two in nature. 

The orthodox view is that though the incarnation of Christ, the two natures (human and divine), were inseparably united in such a way that there was no mixture or loss of their separate identity and without loss or transfer of any property of attribute of one nature to the other. Which basically states that Christ was/is 100% God and 100% human without the nature of one mixing with the other.  

So that Jesus in stating (John 17:5), “O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.”  appears to be requesting His divine nature restored to its previous place of infinite glory.  Be careful though since Jesus is not using the word restored in the most usual sense.  “Restored” is the past tense of “restore” meaning “to give something back.”  Yet He is using it in the sense of “to return to a previous condition.”  It is believed that he is speaking of a return to position not a return of possession; as the writer of Hebrews states “who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,” (Heb 1:3).

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