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The Humiliation of Christ
from Luther's Small Catechism

The Savior in the State of Humiliation

126. What two states do the Scriptures distinguish in Christ's work of salvation?
A. The state of humiliation
B. The state of exaltation

127. What was Christ's humiliation?
Christ's humiliation was that as man He did not always or fully use His divine powers.
447 Phil. 2:5 - 8 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a servant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross (NKJV).

Bible narratives: Wedding at Cana (John 2:1 - 11). Raising of Lazarus (John 11:38 - 44). Rays of hidden glory (John 18:1 - 6).

128. Which words of the Apostles' Creed describe the stages of Christ's humiliation?
"Conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried."

129. What do the Scriptures teach about Christ's conception?
They teach that Christ. the Son of God, received a true human body and soul in the Virgin Mary through the miraculous power of the Holy Spirit, not through a human father.
448 Luke 1:35 The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.
449 Matt. 1:20 Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.

130. What do the Scriptures teach of the birth of Christ?
They teach that Jesus Christ, the God-man, was born of the Virgin Mary.

The Nativity Christmas Rose

450 Is. 7:14 The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call Him Immanuel. (See also Matt. 1:23.)
451 Luke 2:7 She gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped Him in cloths and placed Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
Bible narrative: The virgin birth (Matt. 1:18 - 25).

131. What do the Scriptures teach about Christ's life, suffering, and death?
They teach that Christ
A. endured poverty, contempt, and persecution in His earthly life;
452 2 Cor. 8:9 Though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich.
453 Matt. 8:20 Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay His head.
454 Is. 53:3 He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces He was despised, and we esteemed Him not.
455 John 8:40 You are determined to kill Me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God.

Bible narratives: At His birth Jesus had only strips of cloth and a manger (Luke 2:7). Herod tried to murder Him, but He escaped to Egypt (Matt. 2:13). In Nazareth the people tried to throw Him down from the brow of the hill (Luke 4:29). In the temple they picked up stones to stone Him (John 8:59).
B. suffered great agony of body and soul under Pontius Pilate;
456 John 19:1 - 3 Pilate took Jesus and had Him flogged. The soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on His head. They clothed Him in a purple robe and went up to Him again and again, saying, "Hail, king of the Jews!" And they struck Him in the face.

Bible narrative: The suffering of Christ (Mark 15:1 - 20).
C. died in excruciating agony on the cross.
457 John 19:16 - 18 Finally Pilate handed Him over to them to he crucified. So the soldiers took charge of Jesus. Carrying His own cross, He went out to the place of the Skull (which in Aramaic is called Golgotha). Here they crucified Him.
458 Matt. 27:46 About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice ... "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?" (He suffered the tortures of the damned in hell.)
459 John 19:30 He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.

Bible narrative: The death of Christ (Mark 15:21 - 41).

132. What do the Scriptures teach about Christ's burial?
They teach that Christ's body was buried in the tomb and remained there until the third day, without decaying in any way.
460 Acts 13:37 The one whom God raised from the dead did not see decay.

Bible narrative: The burial of Christ (Mark 15:42 - 47).

Taken from Luther's Small Catechism. You can order Luther's Small Catechism for a total of $7 by calling the Issues, Etc. resource line at 1-800-737-0172.

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