The Need for Redemption
Corruption entered human nature through the misuse of free will. The first man was exiled from paradise and, when he fell in sin, was condemned to eternal death. He was not able to save himself because, “The wages of sin is death… and without shedding of blood there is no remission” (Romans 6:23; Hebrew 9:22). The Lord God taught him to offer bloody sacrifices to settle in his mind the fact that without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. He covered both Adam and Eve by the skin of a sacrificed animal (Genesis 3:21) instead of the fig leaves which couldn’t even hide the sin and remove its shame (Genesis 3:7). Adam, in turn, taught his children the need to offer such sacrifices. Abel succeeded to do so, unlike his brother who offered some fruits, which was not accepted by the Lord in contrary to that of Abel (Genesis 4:3-7).
Offering sacrifices indicates the need of a savior to be a mediator between man and God. It is impossible for any animal to be the mediator because this mediator should have an excellent relationship with God, and in a better position than fallen man. Therefore, Adam and his descendants realized their need for a mediator, whose time had not yet come and that offering these sacrifices were just to remind them always with their need for the Redeemer and Savior, about whom the Lord said that the seed of the woman shall bruise the head of the serpent (Genesis 3:15). This was the first prophecy about Christ the Savior, who was born from the woman only, the Virgin Mary, without a man as the norm among human beings. About the order of the Law to offer such bloody sacrifices continually, St. Paul says, “For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sin… For the law… can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect” (Hebrew 10:4, 1).
The Lord, out of His care and love to the mankind, also sent the prophets to prepare mankind for the advent of the Savior. They succeeded to diagnose sin and its consequences and prophesied about all the details regarding the Savior and salvation. But none of them were able to redeem and save mankind, or even themselves.
Criteria of the Needed Savior
This savior should be a human being to represent the same nature of the falling man, but without sin to be able to die for the sin of others. Therefore, neither an angel nor archangel was able to redeem and save mankind, because they are from a different nature, i.e. spirits without bodies or spiritual bodies, about them the Bible says, “And of the Angels He says: ‘who makes His angels spirits and His ministers a flame of fire’” (Hebrew 1:7; Psalms 104:4). Any prophet is also not able to save mankind because he is not without sin, according to the Bible “There is none righteous, no not one… They have all gone out of the way; they have together become unprofitable; there is none who does good, no not one” (Romans 3:10-12). At the same time, this savior should be unlimited to be able to save all men of all generations from all their sins. He should be unlimited, not only because of that, but also because sin is committed against the unlimited God; so it is unlimited sin, and needs an unlimited savior to redeem.
The only One who is unlimited and without sin is God Himself. So He planned to become incarnate and to take a flesh, i.e. the human nature, to unite it with His divinity, and to be born from the Virgin without the seed of man, to die on our behalf to save us from eternal death and give us eternal life.