Jesus had two identities. The one was that which we know as “Son of God”, because as we viewed him, he was distinct from us in displaying a perfect nature, a Godly one. There was a great gap between him and man. He was righteous, we were unrighteous.
The other identity was that which he called himself, “Son of man”. In doing this, he showed that being a son of man was a distinction far from his “normal” nature as son of God. Though normally dwelling in his identity as Son of God, the very normality of that meant that he was conscious of the indwelling of man’s characteristics as a foreign entity within. Christians might say the reverse about themselves, that Christ within them was as a foreign entity, while he changed them to conformity with that identity of his. [just as on the cross he was purified to a singularity of identity]
So while Christians are “strangers and aliens, exiles on the earth”? it is because that is how Jesus is/was when he was “here” also, and continues to be so in his people.
So which identity are we to be found in? Are we to be “sons of God” or “sons of man”?
To be a son of man means we are to be found in the camp of those who seek to crucify the indwelling Christ. To be found in the camp of Jesus is to be crucified with him, and to suffer persecution as he did.
When we examine the confrontation in Jesus that occurred when his two identities met together, we find pain and sorrow. Likewise if we correctly examine ourselves we should find a clash between two natures*. Hopefully with us, it is the clash of the indwelling nature of Christ with the world at large, more than the clash of our flesh with the Spirit.
The difference is that his clash was that of ultimate righteousness with ultimate “evil”, and the result was a victory that could then permeate mankind with its benefits. We are still in a war, not so much now with internal elements, but external. Just as Jesus’ God consciousness was “baited” by temptation that arose from his “man nature”, our now inherited from him “God nature” is similarly “baited”, opposed, by the world at large.
While he destroyed completely within himself the opposing forces, we can seek to do so but are found to be completely reliant by faith in Him to empower us. The world we are in is full of strife and sorrow. People are hurting. What do we do? We love them.
We have to bring his nature into the struggle to assert his nature as dominant over the world. We have to enter into that which people are suffering, to get alongside them and to suffer with them what they are suffering, in order to bring the victorious Christ to them by whatever means we can. This means that the love of God in us has to shine on them and shed tears for them, with them, that somehow his victory also will be present to heal them. The healing we have experienced and continue to experience can help to heal them also.
How difficult the task of a pastor must be to try and bring together the two aspects of God and man, and to reconcile them in an environment of such everyday evil as is occurring in the wider community, not to mention the suffering of the body of Christians as a whole.
But victory must assert itself, He has to be acknowledged as the risen power above all things, and suffering has to give way to rejoicing, at least within the body as it comes together to reveal and reconcile all these elements together.
[When he entered into his “passion” on the cross, his two identities clashed as opposing forces, and the better “man” (love) won.] [* It is the clash of two natures that exists in unregenerate man that causes him internal conflict, (Jesus kept them separate until the cross) whereas regenerate man’s conflict is more externally encountered]. [extroverted as against introverted]