He Emptied Himself
Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name.
You may have missed it but we just traveled with the second person of the trinity from height of glory, to depth of shame, to height of glory. In verse 6, Christ Jesus is enthroned in heaven being worshiped 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, enjoying his equal status with God, being God himself.
In verse 7 he willingly empties himself of glory descending by the end of verse 8 to death on a cross, a death of unimaginable pain and utter shame – which is only exceeded when you compare it to the shame of His perfect Father, the first person of the Trinity, looking at his only son and treating him as all the terrible sins of the world deserve…with terrible wrath.
But then in verse 9, because of this atoning death, he has been shot heavenward, exalted back to the absolute pinnacle of worship, glory, and honor – above absolutely everyone. And one day, though some are bound for hell and some are bound for heaven, not a single being who has ever existed or will exist will fail to bow and confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. Let me say that another way. It doesn’t matter what you believe today, one day you will both believe and confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord. If you believe today, you will enjoy rest and love for your soul. But if you wait, it will be too late to enjoy this belief.
Those are the facts. Jesus stepping down from glory to suffer is every bit as real as any earthly king who stepped down from his throne. But don’t forget to look at the person behind the facts. How did this happen? Was he usurped? Did he go kicking and screaming? No. He didn’t count equality with God a thing to be held onto tightly, but emptied himself willingly of his own accord.
It was an unthinkable, mind-blowing leap from perfect, complete joy and glory into complete humiliation, pain, and separation taken willingly; not forced. All of this for the joy of being God, who would stop at nothing to move your sin out of the way so that you could be with him.
Get this, if Jesus had stepped down from his throne to be treated as the archangel Michael, it would have been a bigger drop in status than anything any human could experience. Yet he gave it ALL UP and died for us, with a human, broken body... without putting up a fight.
Is he worthy of our praise!? Amen.