31 July 2018

Philippians 2
Psalm 83

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.
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!

Philippians 2:6-8

On my way home from work recently a song came on the radio that moved me emotionally; it tugged at the chords of my heart. It was a love song and its words reminded me of the precious love between a husband and a wife. In particular, it brought to the fore how sacrificial love is the deepest and most enduring of all forms of love. It’s the kind of love that begs the question, ‘why would you do this?’ and ‘why me?’

It’s these questions that have so often rung in my ears as I read Philippians 2:6-11, a hymn of the early Church. It’s a song that declares the heart of the gospel, the nature of our Saviour and His sacrificial love in His death. So the question is raised: “Jesus, why would you do this?” The ‘why’ is raised, because of who He is declared to be, the one who is in very nature God and who does not use this to His own advantage. And yet He submits himself to servanthood and ultimately death. Why God? The answer: His humility, and it flows from His mind set (verse. 5). Jesus Christ is the perfect example of the nature of God in humility. It’s not often we think of the humility of God, perhaps because we see it as weakness, but it’s this very aspect that shines through in the life and work of Christ. He submits His life unto death in humility. Yes, His humility leads to His glory as every knee bows to Him, but even this is to the glory of another. His highest aim is not His own glory but the Glory of God the Father. Christ’s song is to the glory of God the Father. It’s into this song that we are caught up because through His humility and glory, His death and resurrection secure for us forgiveness and acceptance from God.

Let that sink in! Jesus, who is God the Son, died for you to bring glory to His Father. Why you? Why me? For God so loved the world that He gave his only Son!

As this love song plays in our minds we remember the profound news that Jesus Christ, the Son of God in humility, sacrificed His life to the glory of God and for our benefit. There is no greater love song than this and to think that we are swept up into this song by grace, it must move us. Move us to praise and glorify our King, to the glory of God the Father. Yet also to a life of humility among God’s people, serving and loving them as Christ loved us.

Father, we praise You for your deep and enduring love; for Your Son and His humble sacrificial love; for Your Spirit who pours Your love into our hearts. May this love spring forth and overflow in our lives as we seek to glorify You and sacrificially serve among Your people and in this world.