The humility of Christ (2)
As a man Christ didn’t come in glory and splendor to be admired by men, but we read in Isaiah 53:2: “He hath no form nor lordliness, and when we see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.” When the soldiers came to take Him captive they couldn’t recognize that He was the Son of God.
But even as man He humbled Himself. He didn’t come as a mighty king and ruler with chariots and great wealth, but instead He was willing to be born in a manger. He who was rich became poor for oursakes. During His public ministry He said: “The foxes have holes and the birds of the heaven roosting-places, but the Son of man has not where he may lay his head” (Lk 9:58). He lived a life of poverty.
As a man He didn’t try to exalt Himself but instead He said: “The Son of man did not come to be ministered to, but to minister, and give his life a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45). The only one who had the right to rule came in order to serve in humility. In John 13 we see Him washing the dirty feet of His disciples.
The Father had given all things into His hands - such a great person was He - but He takes the dirty feet of His disciples into His holy hands. That was the mind of Christ. That’s why He could tell His disciples at the end of His life: “I am in the midst of you as the one that serves” (Lk 22:27).
Not only that. He who is the creator of heaven and earth, the one who gave commands to billions and billions of angels who had to obey Him, He became obedient Himself. As a man, His ear was wakened and opened every morning that He might be instructed in the will of His father. He came not to do His own will but the will of Him who sent Him. He layed aside His will to do the will of someone else. He learned obedience by the things that He suffered. The more He continued in the path of obedience to His God and Father the more He faced the opposition of men. That’s why He had to say: “The reproaches of them that reproach thee have fallen upon me” (Rom 15:3).
His obedience went up to the point where, in view of the cross, He lay on His face with strong crying and tears crying out: “Not my will, but thine be done” (Lk 22:42). He was willing to lay down His life. Nobody took it from Him. He Himself surrendered His Spirit into the hands of His Father. This commandment He had received from His Father and Him He obeyed until the end. He poured out His soul into death.
We could think that this was the lowest point possible. But it wasn’t. He didn’t die a normal death. He was obedient unto the death of the cross. The Bible says: “Cursed is every one hanged upon a tree” (Gal 3:13). He died the worst and most shameful death we can imagine. Terrible criminals were executed through crucifixion. And those who passed by the cross must have thought that He was one of them. He “was reckoned with the transgressors“ (Isa 53:12). He really took the lowest place we can imagine and finally “also descended into the lower parts of the earth” (Eph 4:9).
That was the mind of Christ: To give up things and to descent lower and lower. He layed aside His outward glory, He made Himself nothing, He took the form of a bondman and became lower than the angels. As a man He had no beauty and didn’t seek to rule but to humble Himself, to become poor and to serve others in love. He layed aside His own will, always doing the will of His Father; He was willing to give up His life and reputation dying the shameful death of the cross and being reckoned among the transgressors.
This is the mind we are to imitate. Instead of insisting upon our rights we should follow His example. In Philippi there were two sisters that had a disagreement. The solution to their problem was to show the mind of Christ. When we show the mind of Christ in our relationships among believers many problems will disappear and harmony and peace will be the result.
Article series: The humility of ChristThe humility of Christ (1) The humility of Christ (3)
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