How often do we say something like, “It’s just human nature”? Such a phrase is frequently voiced with a negative connotation. When we witness people doing bad or destructive things, or when we have to create rules or laws to keep people from doing those things, we often sigh in resignation that human nature dictates such restrictions. And it is true, human nature was stained by the fall of Adam and sin is a drive that is a challenge to overcome.
But if we go back to the story of creation in the book of Genesis, we read that God created us good. God created human nature and it was in loving harmony with Him. Thus, true human nature is not who we are after Eden, it’s what we were made to be before it.
After the creation story in Genesis, what we see in the Bible is a God who passionately tries to get us back to what He intended human nature to be. He speaks through The Law and the prophets. He weeps, he pleads and ultimately becomes one of us to show us the way. He performs miracles to give us a glimpse of what the restoration of a fallen creation looks like. And when he hangs on a cross, he does so not at the hands of human nature, but of something far less than that.
Human nature is what we see in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. He was fully human. He shared our flesh and all of the pains that go with that. He shared our temptations. But to say Jesus was fully human is also to say that he lived the way humanity was created to live – a life of perfect love.
As Christians we are called to be fully human, to live and love like Jesus did. And though that may seem out of reach, the Lord showed us the way because it could be done.