God Became Human

“The famous saying of Irenaeus: ‘Christ became what we are, in order that we might become what he is.’ The clearest examples in Paul’s own writings are found in 2 Corinthians, the first in 5:21, ‘he became sin, that we might become the righteousness of God in him’, the second in 8:9, ‘though he was rich he became poor, in order that many might be made rich’.

Here we see the basic pattern of the interchange between Christ and the believer: Christ is identified with the human condition in order that we might be identified with his.[…]

Paul speaks of Christ dying in order that we might live, but he adds the significant words with him: Christ ‘died for us so that…we might live with him’. If Christ shares our death, it is in order that we might share his resurrection life. Paul’s understanding of the process is therefore one of participation, not of substitution; it is a sharing of experience, not an exchange. Christ is identified with us in order that – in him – we might share what he is.[…] It is because Christ himself shared in the condition of being ‘Adam’, man, that man is now offered the possibility of entering a new kind of existence.” (Morna D. Hooker, From Adam to Christ:Essays on Paul, pgs. 26-27)