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To No Avail

08 November 2011 by Neil

Q. 46. What was the estate of Christ's humiliation?
A. The estate of Christ's humiliation was that low condition, wherein he for our sakes, emptying himself of his glory, took upon him the form of a servant, in his conception and birth, life, death, and after his death, until his resurrection.

Q. 47. How did Christ humble himself in his conception and birth?
A. Christ humbled himself in his conception and birth, in that, being from all eternity the Son of God, in the bosom of the Father, he was pleased in the fullness of time to become the son of man, made of a woman of low estate, and to be born of her; with divers circumstances of more than ordinary abasement.

Q. 48. How did Christ humble himself in his life?
A. Christ humbled himself in his life, by subjecting himself to the law, which he perfectly fulfilled; and by conflicting with the indignities of the world, temptations of Satan, and infirmities in his flesh, whether common to the nature of man, or particularly accompanying that his low condition.

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin -- Hebrews 4:15

Yahweh was the very definition of wisdom, and Yahweh was all power: he constituted the space-time of the cosmos, and made all that would ever be into existence with his bare words. Yahweh was holy, and Yahweh was unchanging: he did not countenance sin, and he never would. Yahweh was Lord over all, in right and in position.  Yahweh was unassailable.  You'd be mad to try.

Yet, Yahweh's most powerful created being rebelled. Unwilling to submit, he wanted to take the place of Yahweh, the first of multitudes who still want the exact same thing.  The rebel intended to win, but the battle went predictably. Shocked and enraged, the rebel was thrown from the heights, thrown from the very presence of Yahweh

But now... Yahweh had the brain of a man, and Yahweh was frail and forty-days hungry. He was part of creation instead of over creation, and he made tables and woodsheds instead of worlds and newborns.  He was no longer the Lawgiver. Yahweh was under the Law, and was Lord over nothing. Yahweh had changed.

Yahweh was a thirty year old man called Jesus, and apparently he had stupidly made himself ripe for failure. The rebel saw a chance to win. Joyfully sauntering through his opening, he got in the face of the weak and starving man. He offered food. He offered power. He plucked Jesus up from one spot and plopped him down in another. He swarmed the senses and needs of the man like a furious hornet colony going after a hapless kid. He did his utmost. But Yahweh changes not, and this battle also went predictably: the rebel is the one who failed.

This wasn't the first time the rebel had tempted Jesus, and it wouldn't be his last opportunity either. Sometimes he would openly declare himself. Sometimes he would use Jesus' best-loved friends to do the dirty work. The rebel would work on Jesus for the rest of his life, but to no avail. Because even though Jesus is Yahweh, he is also one of us, yet without sin.