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15 November 2011 by Brad Williams

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.

When Adam and Eve sinned against God, the first thing that they realized was that they were naked. Why hadn't they noticed this before? Was it because they, in their innocence, were completely naive? Or, is their realization connected to something else? Since I believe that the first couple were at least as smart, if not smarter, than the rest of their progeny, I highly doubt that it had previously escaped their notice that they were both in the buff. If that is the case, then their realization of nakedness means something else. But what?

The original sin of our ancestors brought death. The bodies of Adam and Eve began to decompose while they were still wearing them. It was slow, but it was steady. Like you and I, they became subject to disease, injury, and death. Old age crept up on them, just like us, and eventually they died, just like we will.

Being dead is kind of a bummer. I believe that to die is to depart and be with Christ. I also believe that being dead and with Christ is better than being alive in this rotting tent we call a body. However, 2 Corinthians 5 indicates that the time between being dead and being resurrected represents a time of longing. We are longing to be clothed with immortal bodies that are not subject to death. Part of being human is wearing flesh, its just that the flesh we wear now is a constant reminder of our original shame: we have sinned, and we are dying.

Did you know that Jesus the Lord experienced this shame? He had to wear a body that was subject to death, even though he never earned that sort of body by sinning. He wore that tent, he tabernacled with us, because he is gracious. And not only did Jesus wear a body ravaged by the effects of sin, he died in it. Not only did he die in that body, he remained separated from a body for three days. Is that a big deal? Yes, yes it is. Jesus is a man, and so for three days he felt the longing that I will feel when I die and am disembodied. He longed to put on his heavenly garment and be clothed in immortality, just like I do. I will do so even more keenly when this body finally wears out.

In every way, our Lord Jesus became one of us. He wore our filthy garments. He suffered in the same kind of flesh we suffer in as a reminder of our shame. He even suffered a death like ours, a disembodiment like we will suffer, and he groaned for the redemption of his body.

And on the third day, he clothed himself with immortality. Soon, he will rid us of all our shame, and he will cloth us as he has clothed himself.