The Humiliation of the Incarnation

Christ became man, and thus was subject to all humiliations that go along with assuming the created nature of man.  Christ became man, and thus was subject to all of the stipulations of a Law designed for sinners, not the Savior of the world.  Christ became man, and voluntarily was subject to the end of all men — death. Merry Christmas.  Behold your God.


From the standpoint of the Bible God is so high He must humble Himself even to look down 'to behold the things that are in heaven' — much more the things 'in the earth!' (Ps. 113:6 KJV). It must therefore be proper to think of the Creator (John 1:1, 2) as humbled greatly to assume the created nature of man, even if in the normal condition of holiness rather than our abnormal condition of sin — starting right off associating Himself with sinners in the womb of a virgin, who like every other mother beginning with Eve, was a sinner. The doctrine of the virgin's immaculate conception is utterly without biblical support. Jesus' companying with sinners began early, in fact, before He was born.

…Though announced by angels He was delivered to a simple peasant maiden and her poor husband, visited first by rustic shepherds and cradled in a manger for animals. His first lengthy residence was in Egypt, symbol of corruption and disease throughout Scripture; boyhood in a disreputable town, growing up like a plant suckling from a root in very dry social and economic ground, without recognized nobility or stately accoutrements (Isa. 53:1,2). Let us try to think of the Lord of Glory as weighing only six to ten pounds, crying for a diaper change, suckling at a woman's breast, babbling in His cradle, learning to talk, contending with neighborhood bullies, subject to unlettered parents (Luke 2:40, 52), known only in the neighborhood and that as son of a village tinker and taking his trade; and in our supposed educated society let us try to understand the One call the very 'wisdom of God' (1 Cor. 3; Prov. 8) as arriving at maturity with less than a sixth-grade education (John 7:15).

Once He said, "My Father works and I do too.' Adam's work was to till the ground until sweat ran of his nose (Gen. 3:19) and until he would die and return to the ground. Like Adam, He labored, He sweated and He died.

'If it be possible, let this cup pass from me' was Jesus' prayer in the Garden. But Calvary was only the final and most bitter of in His public life of humiliation. He made Himself of no worldly reputation. He became obedient to rules made for the gainsaying and disobedient, for little minds and sinful people, until He had fulfilled every one of them. That was what it meant to be 'made' of a woman not only 'under the law' but subject to 'every ordinance of man.'

He was to be granted no exception from any humiliating legal requirement for good conduct. The law prescribed circumcision and participation in the whole ritual and sacrificial system, including three trips every year to the central sanctuary. Every one of these Mosaic requirements related to the Israelites as sinners. Jesus was innocent of any sin whatsoever, yet as 'under the law' He patiently went through all the motions without protest.

Culver, Robert. Systematic Theology, Biblical and Historical. Copyright Robert Duncan Culver, 2005. Pg. 517-518

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Born to Die

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