Critics often ask, if Jesus Christ is God, when did he become God? Did he become God when he screamed out his first cry and took in the breath of life? Was he God when he suckled his mother's breast for the food of life? Was he God when he soiled his diapers and his mother washed and cleaned him?
Was he God when, as a toddler running back and forth, as all toddlers do, fell and hurt himself and cried for his mother's comforting hands to soothe his pain and wipe away his tears? Was he God when as a teenager, he got into fights with his playmates, or when his parent disciplined him for minor infractions?
Was he God when as a handsome young man, as his portraits show, he did or did not react to the amorous glances from the opposite sex? Was he God when he said in Matthew 26:39 "My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken away from me? Yet not as I will, but as you will." Did Jesus have a will separate from God's will?
Was he God when he answered the high priest's question on his claim that he is the son of God, and suffered the physical attacks we read about in Matthew 26:67, "Then they spit in his face and struck him with their fists. Others slapped him and said, prophesy to us, Christ. Who hit you?"
Was he God when, hanging from the cross, he cried in a loud voice in Mark 15:34, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Was he God when he died on the cross and remained dead for three days? (Luke 24:7).
The unnerving implication that God died on the cross has fueled the most tempestuous debate on the divinity of Jesus Christ, since the beginning of Christianity, down through the ages to the present day. No other issue has stirred so much passion.
The debate revolves around these questions: Is Jesus God or man? If he is God, at what point in his life did he become God?
Many believers agree with the traditional Christian doctrine that the phrase "Son of God" meant Jesus was not merely a moral personality, or an external relation to God that began at a particular time, but Jesus is a hypostatic and eternal person of the divine nature of God.
Yet in the same gospel, we come across the phrase "Son of man" mentioned eighty-one times to describe Jesus. Is Jesus Christ both God and man, or just a man?