Humiliation and Exaltation

“Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 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 made himself nothing, 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, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”  Philippians 2:4-11

Christ humbled himself even to the point of death on a cross, and therefore God gave him the name the name that is above every name. The greatest humiliation of eternity was also its greatest exaltation: the God of heaven humbled, humiliated, tortured and brutally killed on a cross. The debasement of the Lord of heaven showed Him to not only be more loving and gracious and forgiving than we can comprehend, but also to be the one truly righteous One in whom alone rests power great enough to defeat death; in whom alone rests the perfect holiness to save us from our sins.

In God’s economy, humiliation leads to exaltation. “The first shall be last and the last shall be first.” (Matthew 2-:16) In that moment of the cross Christ was truly the utmost last of all creation, because YAHWEH turned away and left him in utter darkness and condemnation. None other in history ever was or ever will be more last than that. In just the same way, none other in history will ever be more first than Him! “He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent.” (Col. 1:18)

Moreover, this reminds us that God and His favor dictate who is first and who is last. Earthly, created things and selfish motivations are as nothing to the Holy Lord, and it is humility and service before HIM which dictates our place. HE is the standard. “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God that in due time He might exalt you…” (1 Peter 5:6)

May God give you the fervor to look to Him in all things! May He give you great grace and humility. Perhaps He will even teach your heart to truthfully say that death is gain, that you might be willing to face martyrdom, that He might be exalted by your sacrifice. Is there a truer imitation of Christ than that?

But to LIVE for Him means fruitful service. So may you bear much fruit, that many more may know Him and glorify His name.

May the Lord lead you to glorify and love Him in all things, providing you strength for the path HE chooses for you.


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