New City Catechism Week 22 Resources

Week 22 Question:

Why must the Redeemer be truly human?

Week 22 Answer:

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.

Week 22 Verse: Hebrews 2:17


The Son of God became a man to enable men to become sons of God…. The Second Person in God, the Son, became human Himself was born into the world as an actual man—a real man of a particular height, with hair of a particular colour, speaking a particular language, weighing so many stone. The Eternal Being, who knows everything and who created the whole universe, became not only a man but (before that) a baby…. The result of this was that you now had one man who really was what all men were intended to be…. And because the whole difficulty for us is that the natural life has to be, in a sense, 'killed,' He chose an earthly career which involved the killing of His human desires at every turn—poverty, misunderstanding from His own family, betrayal by one of His intimate friends, being jeered at and manhandled by the police, and execution by torture. And then, after being thus killed—killed every day in a sense—the human creature in Him, because it was united to the divine Son, came to life again. The Man in Christ rose again: not only the God. That is the whole point. For the first time we saw a real man…had come fully and splendidly alive. What, then, is the difference which He has made to the whole human mass? It is just this; that the business of becoming a son of God, of being turned from a created thing into a begotten thing, of passing over from the temporary biological life into timeless 'spiritual' life, has been done for us…. Of course, you can express this in all sorts of different ways. You can say that Christ died for our sins. You may say that the Father has forgiven us because Christ has done for us what we ought to have done…. You may say that Christ has defeated death. They are all true.

C. S. Lewis (1898–1963). A fellow in English literature at Oxford University as well as chair of English at Cambridge University, Lewis wrote literary criticism, children's literature, fantasy literature, as well as theology. His most well known works are Mere Christianity (from which this quote is taken), The Screwtape Letters, and The Chronicles of Narnia. A member of the Church of England, his conversion to Christianity was influenced by his Oxford colleague and friend J.R.R. Tolkien.

From “Mere Christianity” in The Complete C. S. Lewis Signature Classics(New York: Harper Collins, 2002), 145–146.

Video Commentary

NCC Q22: Why must the Redeemer be truly human? from The Gospel Coalition on Vimeo.


Supporting Scriptures:

Luke 2:7; 2 Corinthians 8:9; Galatians 4:4; Isaiah 53:3; Luke 9:58; John 11:35; Hebrews 2:18.


Who can deliver me out of the Hands of…God? What measures can I take, or who will be my Defence? Is there not one, who is call'd…the Saviour, and mighty Deliverer? Upon his Name I will call aloud; Jesus, the blessed Jesus. This, this is He, the Judge at whom I tremble, but the Saviour in whom I trust too…. O Jesus, Jesus, by this most blessed name I beg, that thou wouldst deal with me according to the importance of this name. For this is a name full of love, full of delight, full of comfort, and holy confidence to every sinner, that takes sanctuary in it. For what does Jesus signify but a Saviour? and why didst thou take that name upon thee but to declare that thou wouldst make it good to the uttermost, by saving thy people from their Sins? For thy own sake I implore thee to be my Jesus indeed: Thou hast created me, destroy not then the work of thine own hands. Thou hast redeemed me, do not cast away the purchase of thy own precious blood…. My Iniquities, I confess, are many and grievous, yet do they admit both of number and measure; thy goodness and thy power know no bounds; and therefore beseech thee, by all the past demonstrations of thy love and Condescension, as thy majesty is in itself, so let thy Mercy be to me, infinite. Remember, Lord, that I am thine…. Even thine, O dearest, kindest Saviour; who, together with the Father and the Holy Spirit, art worshipped and glorified, ever one God World without end. Amen.

Augustine of Hippo (354–430). Bishop of Hippo in Roman North Africa, philosopher, and theologian, Augustine is considered a saint and Doctor of the Church by both the Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion. He wrote an account of his conversion in his Confessions, his most known work, but he is also one of the most prolific Latin authors in terms of surviving works with hundreds of separate titles (including apologetic works, texts on Christian doctrine, and commentaries) and more than 350 preserved sermons.

From Pious Breathings: Being the Meditations of St Augustine, his Treatise of the Love of God, Soliloquies and Manual, translated by Geo. Stanhope (London: J. Nunn & Co., 1818), 311–313.