STUDIES IN THE WESTMINSTER SHORTER CATECHISM
by Leonard T. Van Horn
A. — Christ’s humiliation consisted in his being born, and that in a low condition, made under the law, undergoing the miseries of this life, the wrath of God, and the cursed death of the cross, in being buried and continuing under the power of death for a time.
Scripture References: Luke 2:7; Phil. 2:6-8; Gal. 4:4; Isa. 53:6; Matt. 27:46; Gal. 3:13; I Cor. 15:3,4.
1. In what things did Christ humble himself?
Christ humbled himself in His birth, in his life and in His death.
2. How did Christ humble Himself in His birth?
Christ humbled himself in His birth in that he was born of a virgin in a manger, becoming man who was the eternal Son of God.
3. How did Christ humble Himself In His life?
Christ humbled himself in His life in subjecting Himself to the law; because he entered into conflict with the devil; because He endured the slander of men who were wicked; because He endured the infirmities of the flesh even those endured by all men.
4. How did Christ humble Himself in His death?
Christ humbled himself in His death by submitting himself to the cursed death of the cross (Gal. 3:13) and undergoing the agony described in the Scripture as happening to Him.
5. What does Christ’s humiliation mean to us as Christians?
Christ’s humiliation assured us of our redemption, through the merits of His sufferings (Eph.1 :7).
6. Was the soul or body of Christ separated from Him during His death?
No, his soul or body could not be separated from him since he was divine and the Scripture teaches us that he i. “the same yesterday, and today, and forever”. (He)). 13:8)
Abraham Kuyper, in his helpful book, “His Decease At Jerusalem”, states, “Even among the most devout only a few are willing to plumb the depths of Golgotha’s real significance. We are mostly occupied with the outward evidences of His dying. That does not disturb us nearly so much. But to endure the heart-breaking, soul-lacerating examination of His conflict with Sin, Satan, and the Sentence of Death, none seem to be willing to do.”
Golgotha! Here our Lord came to the climax of those things done in order that others might live. Nothing was left Him but a cross whereon He could die. And this amid the mocking laughter of His slanderers. Look to the Cross of Christ, where the Christ heard those words of mockery, “He saved others; Himself He cannot save.” How very true they were, little did those who said them realize what a profound truth they were uttering. For therein was the truth of His dying, in order to save others He could not save Himself! He paid the final price on the Cross and then He knew that the debt for man’s redemption was paid up in full. He was free then to utter the words, “It is finished!” It was a thunderous cry of victory over the prince of the world and his cohorts.
We sing about the Cross and we speak of it—but do we think deeply in considering the humiliation He suffered there? How little are our thoughts directed towards developing heartfelt understanding of His sacrifice on the Cross. What He suffered there for our sakes, what He did there made the precious gift of eternal life for you and for me!
We need to think more of the scene of Golgotha and let it be a continual remembrance to us of the precious blood He shed, we need to see that Cross in which we find our glory.
We need to examine our hearts before Him and ask Him, with the Psalmist of old, “Search me 0 God and know my heart; try me, and know my thoughts; And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” We need to remember what He did for us and ask ourselves the question: “What are we doing for Him?” Are we willing to renounce all for His sake? Are we willing to be humiliated by the world as we testify for Him? Are we willing to give up whatever is necessary in order to walk to His glory? Blessed Redeemer, Precious Redeemer is our cry—what do our lives testify?
Published By: THE SHIELD and SWORD, INC.
Vol. 3 No. 27 (March 1963)
Rev. Leonard T. Van Horn, Editor