Jesus could not have have been only a man. If He was, then the entire Christian belief falls apart. If Jesus was only man, and not God, then we could not be reconciled. A man could not redeem us for our wrong against God. Only God can do that. So was Jesus fully God, and not man? I do not believe so. If this were true, then the entire Christian belief falls apart. If Jesus was not a man, then it would be hard to say that He truly overcame sin. It is a hard thing to explain that Jesus was two natures in one (100% God and 100% man).
There is only one way I know to explain such a concept and be clear about what I believe about our Savior.
There was a swimmer who wanted to break the record for longest distance swim across a large body of water. As a safety precaution, this swimmer had a boat that was ready to pull him out if the waters got too rough. The swimmer began his swim across this large body of water and, hours later, made it to the other side. He did not default to the boat.
Even though we can never really have an accurate illustration to describe the correct nature of Jesus, I believe that this story helps. Jesus came to Earth to redeem man for our sins as a man, but His Godly nature was always there. This is why we always see Jesus praying to His Father in heaven, because He was God completely limiting Himself as a man and relying on the Father, who was a separate part of Himself. (Jesus is represented by both the boat and the swimmer. The boat represents His godly nature and the swimmer represents His human nature)
I do not know how else the incarnation could possibly work for our redemption or salvation, and I would love to know what you think on the subject.
Thank you Nick Camcemi for a good, healthy, debate so far. I hope to learn more through it.