What does it mean to a Christian that Christ is the son of God? On the one hand, obviously, the normal biological meaning of son does not apply. On the other hand, "we are all children of God", but Jesus seems to be more so.
That God offered up His only son as a sacrifice for humanity's sins is often used as an argument to demonstrate God's love for humanity. This would imply that God loves Jesus more than His other children, that this sacrifice was particularly hard, indicating that Jesus has a filial relationship with God in a sense that we would understand. It implies that sending His son to his death was extremely painful to Him, more so than the deaths of His other children.
Now, these arguments seem to me to be a clear anthropomorphisation of God, Christians seem to be attributing human characteristics such as the love of a father --not metaphorically as when referring to humanity as God's children, but in a very literal way-- to God. This seems to clash with another central tenet of Christianity which states that God is beyond our understanding, that we cannot fathom His plan. If so, then any attribution of human emotion to Him would be wrong.
So, my question is how do Christians interpret Christ being the "Son of God"? What exactly does that mean? I realize the answer will depend on the particular denomination of Christianity whose views are being expressed. I am particularly interested in the more popular churches such as the Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox but welcome answers explaining the views of any group as long as the group in question is clearly stated.
I am new here so I hope I am not offending anyone; my apologies if I am, this is not my intent. I would be happy to edit my question if offense is taken.
I have read the posts bellow, but though related, none of them addresses the same question:
- If Christ is considered the 'Son of God' then how is He a part of a Trinity?
This one was quite interesting, and the accepted answer states that
His "sonship" is unique, one-of-a-kind, and distinct from all others, which brings us straight back to my question, how is it distinct?
Again, very interesting, but it while it explains the contradiction inherent in Christ being the only Son of God while we are all His children, it does not explain in what sense Christ is a son of God.