6 Who, though he was in the form of God,
did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:6-11
English Standard Version (ESV)
Christ exists as God, but He became man. God is limitless, all powerful, and eternal, but Jesus, Christ Incarnate, obediently submitted to the Father to become a man. A man is limited, weak, and mortal.
Why would God empty Himself and become a mere man? For you and me.
As God the Son, Jesus Christ, He was above all things. He was the Creator (Col. 1:16, John 1:3). Creation holds together, because He is the glue. And yet, He gave up ‘temporarily the voluntary exercise of the rights and privileges of God,’ (1) for you and me.
He humbled Himself, knowing what it would cost against His human nature…immanent and excruciating suffering leading to death. His death. His life.
I love this synopsis of Phil: 9-11:
Man gave Jesus a Cross, but God gave Him a Crown.
Man gave Jesus a Grave, but God gave Him back His Glory.
Man gave Jesus Anguish, but God gave Him Adoration.
Man Expelled Jesus, but God Exalted Jesus.
Man gave Jesus Thorns, but God gave Him a Throne. (2)
God gave Jesus a position that was exalted. Jesus willingly humbled Himself. He had a mission. God had a plan, even from before the beginning, that Jesus would be the link to bring sinful mankind back to Him. Jesus was the way, where there was no possible way of redemption through man’s activity of doing things to “try” to gain that position.
In the Gospel accounts of Christ’s crucifixion we know that Jesus was severely beaten before being hung on the cross. After the flogging and the mob declaring “Crucify Him,” Jesus was led away. And we know He struggled on His way to Golgotha.
Can you imagine it?
His feet faltered. His thighs quivered. His bruised heart strummed its life-giving force to keep Him alive, even after losing so much blood from the torture he had endured. His shoulders bent under the weight of the 100 pound cross-piece He had been forced to bear. His lungs stung as he breathed. He took brief glances through His swollen eyes at the people He was bearing this burden for. It was for them that HE suffered. His persecutors. His executioners. His lost sheep. They didn’t know He took each wavering step for them.
Satan didn’t know either. He thought he had triumphed, but he had not.
God wins. Always!
Redemption and restoration was in each step He took, that led Him to what He had been born for. It led to what He had left heaven for—those He had made. Each step He took was one of Hope, not fear.
Even though it didn’t look that way on that day, Jesus was affirmed positionally in a continuing and eternal state of Adoration. God bestowed upon Him a name that is above all names. He was (and is) Jesus, the Savior of the World: past, present, and future. Oh, how sweet that name is to ALL the lost sheep who have now been found.
And Jesus was given an exalted confession. There will be a day—chill bumps moment—that every knee shall bow, and EVERY tongue CONFESS that Jesus Christ is Lord. It’s going to happen. In that confession all who have ever breathed will confess His Deity, His Lordship over all Creation. Unfortunately at that time it will be too late for those who denied His Deity on earth, but they will do it. God will receive the glory.
I love this quote from F.F. Bruce:
“’Jesus (Christ) is Lord’ is the quintessential Christian creed, and in that creed ‘Lord’ is given the most august sense that it can bear. When Christians in later generations refused to say ‘Caesar is Lord,’ they refused because they knew that this was no mere courtesy title that Caesar claimed: it was a title that implied his right to receive divine honors, and in this sense they could give it to none but Jesus. To them there was ‘only one God, the Father,… and… only one Lord, Jesus Christ’ (1 Cor. 8:6). In the Greek O.T. Gentile Christians read, Yahweh was denoted either by theos (God) or (most often) by kurios (Lord); they reserved Theos regularly for God the Father and Kurios regularly for Jesus.
When divine honors are thus paid to the humiliated and exalted Jesus, the glory of God the Father is not diminished but enhanced. When the Son is honored, the Father is glorified; for none can bestow on the Son higher honors than the Father Himself has bestowed.”
Jesus dying on the cross was necessary. Jesus leaving the majesty of heaven was necessary. Jesus being not only fully God, but also becoming fully man was necessary. There was only one way to reconcile sinful man to a Holy God, and that was God Himself through the Son. Jesus was sinless, and by being a sinless man while being fully God, the sin debt of man was satisfied. The unblemished sacrificial lambs (a rite set forth in the O. T. Law of God) of generations past couldn’t do it, they were merely symbolic. At just the right time, Jesus died for the ungodly (Rom. 5:6). The person of Christ is not merely a man, but the person of Christ is the God-man; He assumed the nature of man, but is Divine, because He is God. There was no other way to make us right with God, but through the atoning sacrificial death of Jesus Christ, our Messiah.
Don’t know Jesus as your Lord and Savior? You can. Click on this link to learn how you can know Jesus… http://www.davidjeremiah.org/site/about/becoming_a_christian.aspx
1Akin, Daniel, Dr. Systematic Theology II: Book 1: Christology. (Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Wake Forest, NC), 40.