THE HUMILIATION OF CHRIST: TAKING ON THE NATURE OF A SERVANT

Scripture Reading: Philippians 2:5-8

“Taking on the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to death — even death on a cross.” (Philippians 2:7b,8)

As we have seen, this is one of the most important passages in Philippians that deals with the atoning work of Jesus Christ. Jesus humbled Himself by being willing to release the rights and privileges He had as God. He emptied Himself of His heavenly glory. He did not insist on keeping His rights and privileges as God.

But there is more — “taking on the very nature of a servant” The particular word translated “servant’ in this passage is a word that designated a “bond slave.” In Israel most slaves served for seven years or so, and at the end of that time they were set free. But a bond slave was a servant who had committed to serve his mater for a lifetime. When a servant made this commitment, the bond slave was taken to the doorpost of the house of his master and his ear would be nailed to the doorpost to signify his desire to be attached to that household as a servant for life. Bond slaves bore a mark which declared. “bond slave.”

Do you see what Jesus has done for us? Jesus committed to the Father that He wanted to be His bond slave, a permanent servant of God’s people. For this reason, Jesus said — “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45).

Let’s continue — “being made in human likeness and being found in appearance as a man.” Jesus took upon Himself human nature. He was fully human, fully man. Though He was fully God, He became fully man — “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). God took upon Himself human flesh. The living God took upon Himself the fullness of humanity and lived among a sinful people.

Can you see how much Jesus loves us? He left His glory with the Father and came to this earth in the form of man. He made Himself a servant to the people of God. He did so because He had a mission to accomplish — the salvation of His people.

Lord Jesus, it is hard to grasp how much You humbled Yourself. You became a bond servant. You took upon yourself human nature. You left the glory You had with the Father to come to this earth to serve and to give Your life as a ransom for me. My heart is filled with gratitude and awe. Thank You for loving me this much.

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