Who, being in very nature[a] God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
7 rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature[b] of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross! Philippians 4:6-8
During my personal study of God’s Word this week, I spread out two different versions of the Bible and a commentary to look at different aspects of Jesus’ earthly ministry. In the passage above from Philippians, we see the culmination of His time as a man – death on the cross. This single act saved me and continues to save me from sin and destruction. And this same salvation is available to anyone who seeks Him and receives His gift. Jesus’ death remains the most important and beautiful occurrence in history. What a gift. His death changes everything. And yet His life caught my attention as I studied.
If we back up to verse 7 in the text above, we see the first sacrifice Jesus made. “…he made himself nothing”. That’s a huge demotion for the creator of the universe. One commentary I read said He, “willingly girded Himself with the apron of a slave.” Mark 10:45 says, For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. He chose to give up all that heaven is and all He was entitled to so He could walk as one of us. Francis Chan put it this way, “He emptied Himself of all of His glory” to come down to this. I’ve been sitting with that this week.
Matthew 8:20 quotes my Savior as saying, Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head. At the height of His ministry, He had nothing. Nor was He welcomed or accepted in His own hometown (Luke 4:24). In heaven angels worshipped and attended to Him, but here, He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. (Isaiah 53:2) Toward the end of His life, He was betrayed by one in His inner circle (Matthew 26). Those in authority spat on Him, beat Him and mocked Him (Mark 14:65). Jesus hung on the cross to make a way to God for us. But He relinquished so much before he ever made His way to Calvary.
I am eternally grateful for Christ’s death in my place. But today, I wanted to thank Him for His life.
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Martha J Orlando says
Amen, Lauren! So thankful for all Jesus did for us, and so blessed by His great love.
Blessings to you!
Thanks for praising Him with me, Martha.
Rebecca Jones says
Praising Him too, Lauren.
Thanks for joining me, Rebecca.
Shelbee on the Edge says
Wonderful food for thought! Thanks for sharing and linking up with me!
I alway love linking up with you, Shelbee. Thanks for being a gracious hostess.
Veronica Lee says
Amen! And what a beautiful and insightful post!
Thank you, Veronica. You are so kind.
Calvonia Radford says
One of my favorite hymns is “Lest I forget Gethsemane”. Let we forget that he left everything and became nothing so that we could gain everything. I praise God for loving me that much and Jesus for putting the joy set before Him above the agony he experienced for me.
You said it better than I did. Thanks for adding your words to mine.
Bev @ Walking Well With God says
So true that we focus mostly on the death of Jesus, but he lived, in human flesh, for over three decades on earth. Jesus was pretty active while on earth: He taught; He healed; He forgave; He wept ; He feared; He loved; He blessed; He prayed; He transformed; He performed miracles; He led; He lived! Thanks for shifting my focus to this Truth today!
Thanks for adding your words to mine, Bev.
Donna Reidland says
As Peter told us, “He left us an example to follow.” It’s so easy for us to compare ourselves to other people and think we’re not so bad, but He is our plumb line. I don’t know about anyone else but that’s very humbling! Thanks for the reminders today.
Thanks, Donna. I appreciate your thoughtful words here.
Kate Holmes says
Food for thought – such a short life but for a boy born in a small village in such circumstances what a difference he made. #BloggerClubUK
Oh yes! Thank you for reading, Kate.
Patsy Burnette says
“willingly girded Himself with the apron of a slave.” <— I love that Lauren. What a beautiful thought. Oh, that we would all do that daily, for Him, for His purpose, for His Kingdom!
Thanks for linking up at InstaEncouragements!
You have just written a beautiful prayer here. I am praying it now. Thank you, Patsy.
Homer Les says
Had to smile at this Matthew 8:20 was the verse kept repeating to me during the time just before He led us into homelessness. It is one thing to read it in Scripture, but as you live it out, it is quite another thing altogether. His continual care in leading us through that 40 month period was astounding. Though we slept in snowbanks, back alleys, a shelter and churches, wandered in the cold, spent many days hungry, He never abandoned us. Where He leads He also provides.
What a testimony you have, Homer. Thank you for sharing with us here.
What a beautiful devotion! Thanks for bringing us in on your bible study time.
Thanks for coming along, Carlie.
And I get an hrumpff in my spirit if I get a little overlooked at times. Jesus is my best example of legacy life – dying so that others may live. (: