THE HUMILIATION OF CHRIST

Scripture Reading: Philippians 2:5-8

“And being found in human form, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” (Philippians 2:8)

The Shorter Catechism of the Westminster Confession of Faith asks the question: “What did Christ’s humiliation consist?” The answer is” “Christ’s humiliation consisted in His being born, and that in a low condition, made under the law, undergoing the miseries of this life, the wrath of God, and the cursed death of the cross, in being buried, and continuing under the power of death for a time.” (Shorter Catechism #27)

These verses in Philippians 2 speak of Christ’s humiliation. First, we are told that Christ gave us some of His rights and privileges as God — “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” (vs. 6,7). Jesus gave up His heavenly glory, took upon Himself human nature and became a servant. The Second Person of the Godhead actually became a man, who lived a life of servanthood and humility.

Second, the sinless Son of God humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross (v. 8). Jesus Christ died a painful and shameful death in our place. He had to carry His cross outside the city and was crucified there. He became a curse for us — “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us — for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree'” (Galatians 3:13).

The humiliation of Christ shows us the extent of His love and grace — “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you by His poverty might become rich” (II Corinthians 8:9).

Lord Jesus, You stooped low to save me. You humbled Yourself, emptied Yourself of Your heavenly glory, took upon Yourself human nature, and became a servant. You did all this so that You could become the perfect atoning sacrifice for my sins. You who are rich beyond all measure became the poorest of the poor for me. Thank You for Your humiliation that brought me grace and assures me of glory.

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