Today’s scripture reads:
Though he was in the form of God, He 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.
I love this passage and I think it is the best passage to end this Advent season on since it sums up just how amazing the Christ story is. Let’s dissect this passage and really meditate on these words as we eagerly await the celebration of our Lord’s arrival tomorrow.
Though he was in the form of God… Christ was not literally in the “form of God” to say that God looks like a first century Palestinian jewish male in his early thirties. What this does mean is that Christ was of God. Christ is , and was, and is to come. He is literally of God, the same essence that is God was Christ, just in human form. If you are confused don’t worry, trinitarian theology is something that almost no one can grasp, but the point is that He was of God.
He did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped… Christ came because we as human being constantly fail to live up to any standard of righteousness. The entire Old Testament is full of human kinds failures and unwillingness to follow God. Whether it is Adam and Eve doing the one thing God forbid, or Abraham sleeping with his servent because he was tired on waiting on God to fulfill his promises, man kind cannot be righteous. In this regard Equality with God is not something to be grasped, or even hoped for. If we cannot even avoid sinning, then how can we expect to be Holy Holy Holy as God as Holy. Christ came, not to simply show us how to obtain righteousness, but also to be means to us receiving the righteousness that we could never obtain on our own.
But made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in likeness of men… For our sake Christ humbled himself. He, who was of the essence of God willingly became nothing. He became the child of a lower class family and was born in a stable. When God came down and became one of us he did not come down as a king, but as a servant. He was born in likeness of us… he who had been witness to the creation of the universe… he who will one day vanquish all evil form the earth… he was born in a manger and walked the dusty roads of palestine telling the people that their sins were forgiven. How strangely beautiful to think that the God who shaped the earth would take the form of a poor wanderer who kept the company of sinners and preached a message of love.
Being found in human form, he humbled himself becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross… As it was pointed out before, mankind sucks at being righteous. We so often choose evil it’s hard to argue that it’s not just part of our nature. We so often lack obedience to God, who always knows what is best for us. We would rather play in the filth of our own sin than trust in the God who formed us and knows how to reach our full potential. Where as we so often lack obedience, Christ humbled himself and showed true and perfect obedience. He willingly laid down his life and died on a cross to cover up our disobedience. The only man who knew no sin, became sin, so that we could one day be saved. The old hymn that sings “Jesus paid it all, all to him I owe” speaks a beautiful truth. We truly do owe it all to Jesus. Don’t let today pass without thanking him for all he has done, and don’t go this Christmas season without reflecting on how truly great and wonderful our God is. May we never stop singing his praises.