Moving Down in the World
Verses 6-7 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to His own advantage; rather, He made Himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.
We take a slight detour from the telling of the Christmas story to look at some of the biggest conundrums of the entire event. The things that make this story epic. We can’t really know the glory of Christmas if we don’t know the Christ that came.
Promised from as early as the Garden of Eden, the coming of the Messiah was anticipated by every Jewish person. But they were looking for what they thought would be a good savior, not what God knew was necessary. This is why we are turning to this obscure version of the Christmas story. We don’t usually think of the Christmas story being in the letters of Paul but that is what this passage in Philippians is really all about.
When was the last time we thought about all that Jesus had to give up to come to earth? His earthly birth wasn’t the beginning of His existence. He was there for creation and therefore had a life before birth. He left heaven and all that means to come as a helpless infant, unable to do anything for Himself. The One who had been the word spoken at creation is the One that set aside His power to have someone else feed Him and change His messy diapers.
Leaving behind heaven meant that He had to leave behind the beauty that He was used to for the lowly beauty of earth. He chose to leave behind the place where there was no sin to be surrounded by it. He was denouncing His throne for a manger. He left behind His authority to submit to a human mother and father, a couple whom He loved greatly but who couldn’t understand His holiness.
This choice to come to earth had been planned with details being set into motion generations prior to His coming. He knew He would be laying aside His glory and taking on a body that could feel pain and a heart that would get hurt. He knew that this wasn’t going to be a fun adventure, it would be hard and painful, but He thought we were worth it. He was willing to give up everything that heaven held for Him to be the sacrifice that we needed. That is love.
Making It Personal
Have you ever had to give something up to do something you knew you should do? Have you had to give up something you enjoyed for Christ? Is there something you need to give up today to submit fully to Him?
Making It Personal Kids
What are some things that are in heaven that Jesus had to leave behind to come to earth? Have you ever given up something you enjoyed for someone you love? Is there anything Jesus would like you to give up to show your love for Him?
Father, Your sacrifice came even before Your death on the cross. We take this life for granted as if this is the greatest experience but in reality, earth is only a foretaste of Heaven. Give us the wisdom to know how to live sacrificially for You. In Jesus’ name, amen.