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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