July 25, 2009

The Greatest Descent

Philippians 2:1-11

He humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!
Philippians 2:8


There has never been a greater act of humility than Christ’s descent from the pinnacle of heaven to earth. The One who was “in very nature God” came down as a child born in a cattle stall. He who bears the name “above every name” made himself “nothing by taking the very nature of a servant” and was “found in appearance as a human being.”

But Jesus’ descent didn’t end on the day he came to live among us. It continued throughout his life on earth. His whole life involved suffering for our sake.

“He was despised and rejected by others, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain”; finally, he was “pierced for our transgressions” and “crushed for our iniquities” (Isaiah 53:3, 5).

Though there was no sin in him, he became “sin for us” (2 Corinthians 5:21).

Yes, Jesus “humbled himself by becoming obedient to death ? even death on a cross!”

Paul wrote that our attitude should be the same as Jesus’ attitude. We should “do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility [we should] value others above [ourselves].” Each of us should look not to our own interests but “to the interests of others.”

Such gentleness and humility are precisely what the Holy Spirit wants to produce in us daily.

God, our Father, what heights of love we see in the depths of Christ’s descent! Thank you that he was willing to stoop down low for our sake. In his name we pray. Amen.

About the author — Shawn Brix

Rev. Shawn Brix has served as pastor in several Ontario churches. He and his wife, Jenny, have three children.

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