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Bone Dry

16 November 2011 by Daniel

Q. 49. How did Christ humble himself in his death?
A. Christ humbled himself in his death, in that having been betrayed by Judas, forsaken by his disciples, scorned and rejected by the world, condemned by Pilate, and tormented by his persecutors; having also conflicted with the terrors of death, and the powers of darkness, felt and borne the weight of God's wrath, he laid down his life an offering for sin, enduring the painful, shameful, and cursed death of the cross.

Q. 50. Wherein consisted Christ's humiliation after his death?
A. Christ's humiliation after his death consisted in his being buried, and continuing in the state of the dead, and under the power of death till the third day; which hath been otherwise expressed in these words, He descended into hell.

In Psalm 113 we learn that in order to acknowledge (ie. see) the heavens and the earth God has to humble Himself. Think about that for a second. Is that just poetry, or is God really that exalted? I believe He is. It follows that Paul was making a vast understatement when he writes to the believers at Philippi that Christ our Lord, though He existed in the form of God, emptied Himself, taking on the form of a bond-servant, and being found in the likeness of men.

Not the kind of empty whereby we mean, mostly empty, as in an "empty" gas tank - which may have a few drops left in it, or the glass of milk that you "empty" which, once emptied, still has a little drop or two of milk in it that you couldn't be bothered to clean out. When the second Person in the Godhead emptied Himself in order to become a man, we are getting a description of exponential humility. If God must condescend just to look at men, how much more to empty Himself and become a man?

But God didn't stop there. He didn't leave a few drops of milk in the bottom on His emptied cup. When God the Son condescended to become a man, He didn't stop there, but lived this life in perfect obedience, even as His own creation in rejecting Him, abused Him, falsely accused Him, and jeered at Him as they took away that same life. I mean, His death was the death of a criminal - it was the cultural equivalent of putting down a rabid dog. Man's judgment against His maker was that the Author of Life was not fit to live.

Betrayed by His own, abandoned in the end, and dying an ignoble death -these things were nothing compared to being forsaken by God. Do you want to understand how Christ was humbled in His death? He drank the cup of humiliation bone dry, when our Lord said, "It is done!" it marked the completion of His humiliation. Chew on this: It meant that He had endured every humiliation possible. It meant that He had come from the highest high, and condescended to the lowest low. When He said "It is done!" it marked the place where there was no where lower to go.

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