Genesis 16-17 / Matthew 5:27-48
“… He made Himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to death – even death on a cross!” Philippians 2:7-8
Jesus is God. He is eternal, existing before creation and is without beginning or end. He shares in the same glory as the Father and the Holy Spirit, and as a man on earth, He was not for a moment less than God. The divine incarnation was God Himself, coming to earth and subjecting Himself to all the limitations of humanity.
This is far more than just a king disguised as one of his servants. Concerning the incarnation, C.S. Lewis writes, “Lying at your feet is your dog. Imagine for a moment that your dog and every dog is in deep distress. If it would help all the dogs in the world to become like humans, would you be willing to become a dog? Would you put down your human nature, leaving your loved ones, your job, your hobbies, your art and literature and music, and choose, instead of the intimate communion with your beloved, the poor substitute of looking into the beloved’s face and wagging your tail, unable to smile or speak? Christ, by becoming man, limited the thing which to Him was the most precious thing in the world – His unhampered, unhindered communion with His Father.”
Jesus gave up everything when He came to Earth, laying down the powers and privileges of His divine nature to depend completely and utterly on His Father to work the miraculous through Him. This is history’s ultimate act of humility, God becoming a man, knowing He would be rejected, scorned, humiliated and condemned to die by the cruellest means possible. Out of His great love for us, God did this in order to purchase us back from sin and death. Jesus began His ministry by receiving a baptism of repentance with sinners, showing His identification with us, and died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sin. As Christians, we can step into that place Jesus alone deserves, that of being totally right with the Father and justified before Him.
In the opening verse, Paul talks about the humility of Jesus and follows it up with, “Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 7:9-11). God has not only restored Jesus to His former glory, but because of the divine incarnation and obedience of Jesus even unto death, He is the life that becomes our life and lives on into eternity with Him.
PRAYER: Precious Lord, thank You for becoming the humble servant on earth and rescuing me from sin and death. I pray for all those who have yet to receive an everlasting life in You. Thank You, Lord Jesus.