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New City Catechism - Question 22
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Posted by Taryl Jasper, Cornerstone elder


New City Catechism - Question 22


Q21: Why must the Redeemer be truly human? 


A: That in human nature he might on our behalf perfectly obey the whole law and suffer the punishment for human sin; and also that he might sympathize with our weaknesses.

KIDS’ ANSWER: That in human nature he might on our behalf perfectly obey the whole law and suffer the punishment for human sin.



Hebrews 2:17 Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.



Philippians 2:7-8; Hebrews 4:15-16; Romans 5:15-17



We all know the English proverb, "To err is human." It's how we define humanity. Humanity is broken, sinful, and often miserable.  We regularly witness the evil and depravity of humanity in the world. We know that even the best and most noble among us are similarly caught in sin in their thoughts, their words, and their deeds.


If this is humanity to us, what do we do with Jesus? Jesus takes on our humanity, but not our sin and corruption. He is not the picture of humanity that we know. Rather Jesus is the picture of the true human that Adam should have been, and we were designed to be. As the true human, Jesus offers to the Father the obedience that Adam refused to offer. He gives the obedience that we, as Adam’s offspring, could never provide. Only as a true human can Jesus fulfill the obligations that the law of God places upon humans (Galatians 4:4-5). The beauty of the gospel is that this perfect human obedience is credited to us who are in Christ (Psalm 24:5; Romans 4:22-25).


The Redeemer had to be truly human because “it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins” (Hebrew 10:4). As bloody as the Old Testament sacrificial system was, rivers of innocent animal blood could only hint at the magnitude of human sin. It could do nothing to finally atone for human sin. Sinful man could only look to a time when some true righteous human could do what no animal sacrifice could do and then proclaim, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29).


We also know that by being a true human, Jesus was subject to all the limitations, sufferings, temptations, and frustrations that we are subject to. He was the bread of life, yet he grew hungry and fatigued. He is the judge who was put on trial. He was the truth who was falsely accused. He was the giver of life that was put to death. All because he became truly human like we are. Because Jesus is human, Scripture tells us that He knows us in our failings and in our sufferings and He can be our source of help and comfort (Hebrews 2:18).



We believe that Jesus Christ is true God and true Man, having been conceived of the Holy  Spirit and born of  the Virgin Mary.  He who knew no sin died on the cross a sacrifice for  our sins according to the Scriptures.  Further, He arose bodily from the dead, ascended into  Heaven, where at the right hand of the Majesty on High, He now is our High Priest and Advocate.  (Is. 7:14Mt. 1:18-25;  Lk. 1:26-36;  Col. 2:9;  1 Jn. 5:20;  Mk. 10:45;  Heb. 2:9;  Lk. 24:23-40;  1 Cor. 15;  Acts 1:1-111 Pet. 3:221 Jn. 2:2Heb. 4:167:25)


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