In our current series we’ve been going through an old list of questions and answers contained in the Westminster Larger Catechism published in 1648. This week we’re going to begin looking at how Christ was humbled.
The catechism answers this question with the following: ‘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.’
In future weeks, I will unpack these states of humility a little further. But for now I want to demonstrate Christ’s humility from key passages of Scripture. One of the most powerful statements on the humbling of Christ is found in Philippians. The apostle Paul writes: ‘Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death–even death on a cross!’ (Philippians 2:5-8).
Paul also tells us in 2 Corinthians the reason for Christ’ humility: ‘For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich’ (2Corinthians 8:9).
What good news! Christ’s humbling wasn’t some sort of pleasure in pain. But it was for a purpose. Jesus became poor so that we might become rich. His life and death had a purpose – to make us rich. It may be news to you that you need Christ to make you rich, but the truth is we all live in great spiritual poverty because we have sinned against God. This means that one day we will be punished for our sin with eternal suffering in hell. Jesus says: ‘Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out–those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned’ (John 5:28-29).
But thankfully Jesus takes the eternal humility we deserve so we can have eternal glory instead. Such riches come not through trying to do good works, but simply through faith in Christ’s humiliation for you.
Do you trust in Christ’s humiliation for you so that you become rich?
Joel Radford, Preaching Elder.