Philippians 2:8-11: “Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. “
In His time on earth, Jesus lived as a suffering servant, humble, fully obedient to the Father’s will to die on a cross for our sins. He was our perfect atoning sacrifice, the Lamb of God who took away the sins of the world. Though He deserved to be honored and served, He was mocked and abused. Though He was divine and eternal, He humbled himself to become a man and die. Though He is the Creator, He subjected himself to the mistreatment of His creatures.
We struggle with obedience and our pride every day. We sinfully desire to promote ourselves and put forward our desires and interest. On a daily basis, this may look like claiming the best seat or the biggest piece of cake, arguing until we’ve proven our point, refusing to submit to anything we don’t understand, displaying an attitude of ungratefulness, manipulating others to pursue our agenda or silently pouting when our achievements go unrecognized. Christ’s example is distinctly different than ours.
These particular verses should stir us up to further worship and follow our Lord. We should adore our Savior who chose to humble himself to bear our sin (including our pride). And we should also pursue humility and obedience as part of honoring Christ. Even though I am called to deny myself to serve others and obey God today, I am not facing physical death on a cross. The ways I need to “sacrifice” my desires in order to walk in humility and put others first look trivial next to Christ’s sacrifice for me.
How can you grow today in praising our once humbled, now highly exalted Savior? How can you follow our Master and choose humility in your different relationships and circumstances today?