Good question, and the answer is clear, based on one biblical truth. Other questions are included here, as well.
As noted in the other posts in this series, theologians have to work out how these verses (and many others) fit together:
Phil. 2:6-8 (the highlighted portion says in Greek that he emptied himself, called the kenosis or emptying):
6 Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
7 rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
And Col. 2:9 indicates the fullness of Deity lives in bodily form, now in heaven and while he was on earth:
For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form.
John 1:14 says that the Word became flesh.
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
What does his emptying look like? How exactly was he the God-man at his incarnation and during his ministry?
Don’t feel frustrated if you don’t get this at first and you have to read it several times. Sooner or later, things will “click.” It’s a profound mystery, after all!
Jesus did not lose or get his divine attributes “lopped off” when he was incarnated. Instead, there was divine cooperation between the Father and the Son—and I add the Holy Spirit. Jesus is the Messiah or Anointed One. He was anointed by the Spirit (Acts 10:38). His miracles were done by his divine nature through the power of the Spirit, by the Father’s and the Son’s will. So the Triunity (Trinity) was working together during the Son’s humiliation.
To say that Jesus was fully God while a human yet he lost or set aside or lay aside or gave up these powerful omni-attributes or other ones does not work. God cannot lose attributes and still remain God. It is best to say that Jesus took them with him at his incarnation, but they were hidden behind his humanity–yes, even when he was a baby lying in a manger. So, for example, if the Father had willed, the divine attribute of omnipotence could have manifested in the baby Jesus and flattened the soldiers whom Herod sent to kill him. Since the baby did not have a fully developed will accompanied by knowledge, the Father alone could have done this through his Son. But the Father wanted Jesus to experience his full humanity and Joseph and Mary to learn how to be good parents and take care of his Son, who was on loan to them. Instead, the Father sent an angel in a dream, who told him to flee to Egypt (Matt. 2:13).
The Scriptural truth is that Jesus had two natures contained in one person—Jesus the Christ of Nazareth. His two natures: fully human and fully divine, the God-man, God in the flesh.
Here are the verses that affirm Jesus’s two natures in one person:
The NIV is used here. If you would like to see the following verses in many translations and in their contexts, please go to biblegateway.com.
Now let’s get to the main questions.
Wayne Grudem on how Jesus did not give up his divine attributes when he became a man, and what it the Scriptures would say if he had given them up:
If it were true that such a momentous event happened as this happened, that the eternal Son of God ceased for a time to have all the attributes of God—ceased for a time to be omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent, for example—then we would expect that such an incredible even would be taught clearly and repeatedly in the New Testament … But we find the opposite of that: we do not find it stated anywhere else that the Son of God ceased to have some of the attributes of God that he possessed from eternity. (p. 551)
So the New Testament affirms that Jesus never lost his divine attributes when he became a man.
Now how does this relate to his getting tired or hungry?
His human nature did things his divine nature did not do. And his divine nature did things his human nature did not do. Each nature had properties that were peculiar to each and did not share or have in common.
In his human nature he ascended into heaven (John 16:28 and Acts 1:9-11), but in his divine nature he was everywhere present (Matt. 18:20 and 28:20; John 14:23). Both things are true about the one person of Jesus Christ. So it is correct to say, “Jesus returned to heaven, and Jesus is here with us right now.” The first is true of his human nature, and the second is true of his divine nature—two natures contained in his one person named Jesus.
Jesus was about thirty years old when he began his ministry (Luke 3:23) in his human nature, but he eternally existed in his divine nature (John 1:1-2; 8:58). Both are true about the person of Jesus. So it is correct to say, “Jesus began his ministry at about thirty, and Jesus existed from eternity past.” The first is true of his human nature, the second is true of his divine nature—two natures contained in his one person called Jesus.
When Jesus was a baby in the cradle, did he hold the universe together (Col. 1:17) and sustain it by the word of his power (Heb. 1:3)? His human nature could not do that, but his divine nature could and did. Each nature did what was unique to itself. So it is correct to say, “In his (baby) human nature he did not do that, but in his divine nature he did.” Either way, it is correct to say that Jesus always held up the universe.
The reader already understands where this is going in respect to “God getting tired and hungry.”
In his human nature and physical body, he got tired and hungry, but in his divine nature he did not. So, no, God did not get hungry or tired. But it is correct to say that Jesus did get hungry or tired in his human nature and natural body, but after the resurrection Jesus has never gotten tired or hungry in his divine nature and his new, transformed, incorruptible body.
When Jesus was crucified, did God die?
In his human nature he died, but in his divine nature he did not die. So, no, God did not die. But it is correct to say that Jesus died in his human nature and natural body, but Jesus was always alive in his divine nature, and at his resurrection he was alive in his new, transformed, incorruptible body, both his human nature and divine nature.
Objection: All this is nonsense and contradictory!
Reply: No, it is not nonsense. Scroll down and click on Part Two, which has numerous Scriptures that affirm his two natures. Christians can only affirm what the Bible teaches.
Here it is for your convenience:
As for a contradiction, how can two distinct and different natures be contradictory? They are two different terms.
Objection: Two natures in one person? That’s ridiculous!
Reply: No, it is not ridiculous. We can catch only a glimpse—merely an imperfect glimpse—when a person is born again and receives the Spirit. At that moment, he partakes of a divine nature (2 Pet. 1:4). Now the believer enjoys the Spirit of God living in him, but he still has his (sinful) human nature—all in one person named Joe. The big difference is that Joe is not fully God, but received his divine nature. His human nature is still sinful. On the other side, Jesus is fully God, he never received his divine nature, for he always had it from eternity past. And his human nature was not sinful.
To answer the question about hunger and fatigue directly: No, God did not get tired or hungry, but Jesus did in his human nature and natural, physical body.
Direct answer to the question about death: Jesus died in his human nature and body (his brain waves went down to nothing, and his heart stopped beating, and so on), but he did not die in his divine nature. Therefore, God did not die when Jesus was crucified.
So how does this post help me get closer to God through Christ?
Some theologians say that one nature does one thing that the other nature does not. So the miracles were performed by the divine nature, not his human nature.
However, he was also anointed by the Spirit and worked miracles through the Spirit. So now we see the Trinity working through Jesus. The Father took the lead. Jesus surrendered and submitted his divine attributes to him. This idea is expressed in verses like these:
[H]e does only what he sees his Father doing (John 5:19). He lives because of the Father (John 6:57). He stands with the Father (John 8:16). The Father knows him, and he knows the Father who sent him (John 8:16). He speaks only what the Father taught him (John 8:28). The Father knows him, and he knows the Father (John 10:15). The Father loves him because he lays down his life (John 10:17). He and his Father are one. He does what he sees the Father does (John 10:37). “I and my Father are one” (John 10:30). What Jesus says is just what the Father told him to say (John 12:49-50, John 12:57).
Perhaps the most important verse about miracles and surrender: “I have shown you many miracles from the Father” (John 10:32).
Jesus never lost his divine attributes, nor did he set or lay them aside. Rather, he kept them, but surrendered and submitted them to the Father. So the Spirit anointed him to do miracles, but even the Spirit surrendered and obeyed the Father. Jesus surrendered to and obeyed the Father, who hid his Son’s divine attributed behind Jesus’s humanity.
ARTICLES IN THE “TWO NATURES IN ONE PERSON” SERIES
2. Two Natures in One Person: He Was Human and God (Scriptures here in Part 2)
5. Two Natures in One Person: If Jesus Got Hungry, Did God?