The Drama of Redemption
A Sermon on Ephesians 4:9-10
(In saying, “He ascended,” what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower regions, the earth? He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.) (ESV)
Looking at Ephesians 4:9-10, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones addresses this difficult passage with the reference to Christ descending below. After mentioning various interpretations of this passage (Christ descending to Hell after his death or going to Sheol), Dr. Lloyd-Jones comes to the conclusion that this speaks of Christ’s descent as his coming down to earth as a man. He did this in order to die on the cross so that all who believed might be saved and come to a true and saving knowledge of God. But to die as a man he had to come down from heaven, be born as a baby, and live as a true human being. For Christ did not simply appear to be a man, but the Son of God hid his glory by taking on a true human nature and dying a cruel death upon a cross. It is this sacrificial death that stands at the very heart of true Christianity. For if Christ did not die as a man, then there is no salvation for anyone, and all men are still in sin. But God’s Word tells us that Christ truly died so that we may have everlasting life with him.