Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Promise of His Coming (30)

When we think of greatness, we think of those who have made something of themselves. Take Alan Sugar, from the TV show, The Apprentice. Starting as a small trader, he has built up a multi-million pound business, and the programme is for others who want to follow his path to greatness by getting a job with him and making money themselves.

The best stories of success always have this nothing-to-something element. Through hard work, ingenuity, 'luck', or whatever, they've raised themselves to a prominent position. However, that's not how it worked with the Lord Jesus.

There's no doubt about it - he is at the very top - King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the one seated on the throne, to whom every knee will bow and every tongue will one day confess that he is Lord. But it wasn't a bottom up approach - Jesus didn't start as an ordinary man who worked his way up to be God. No, Jesus had it all, but gave it up in order to be exalted. Notice Jesus' descent into greatness:

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. (Philippians 2:5-8)

Jesus, the eternal God, with the Father, kept stepping down further and further - being born as a man. This is the Christmas story - the word became flesh and dwelt among us. But even that wasn't enough - Jesus went on to die, not in a nice clean hospital ward at the age of 102, but the death of the cross. Did you notice the joint reasons for this? His humility, and his obedience.

Jesus gave himself to serve us, so that nothing was too low for him to do, nowhere too far for him to go, in order to save us. Will we, who know this salvation through his death on the cross, will we have this mind as well, of humble, obedient service? Come, O Christ, and help us serve, to follow in your path, so that all the glory is yours, now and forever.

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