He humbled himself, by becoming obedient to the point of death – even death on a cross!
These two verses form a chain of progression, from heaven to the cross along the path of humility. Jesus, who lived in heaven, humbled Himself by becoming a man, and then as a man, humbled Himself further by being obedient to the will of His Father and submitted to the cross. It was no light thing He did. Each step was taken with careful deliberation and certainty of will. Jesus knew the stakes. He knew how much of a bet this was to convince men and women to believe in Him for eternal life. He knew how risky it would be putting His own life on the line to show His love, His Father’s love for the whole world. And this was in the days before the internet, before mass media coverage, before newspapers. He knew that what He was doing would be so profound, so meaningful, so impactful, that we would still be talking about it and celebrating it 2000 years later.
What other events from ancient history do we celebrate every year? The Jews celebrate Passover (the liberation of the Israelites from Egypt 3500 years ago), Hannukah (the oil in the Temple that continued to burn while a new batch was being prepared, about 2200 years ago) and some others. But the rest of the world? We celebrate the founding of our nation 250 years ago. We celebrate and remember events from recent memory, like 9/11 or maybe Pearl Harbor. We celebrate Christmas not because Christ was born, but that He died and was resurrected.
Celebrating Easter is our connection to the ancient world, a time when swords and sandals won the day, when the Romans ruled the world, and a small group of Jewish men and women celebrated the return of their Rabbi from death, the Son of God. This one event, in a Roman backwater, far from the seats of power and influence, has changed the whole world. We don’t remember the name of the Roman Caesar of that day (Tiberius) as well as we do the name of Jesus. What man sees as insignificant, God plans for His glory.
As we prepare our hearts for Easter this week, Whether alone or with family, lift up the name of Jesus in your conversation. Lift up the name of Jesus in your work. For this Jesus who died is alive again. He was crucified, but He has risen. Let us rejoice and praise the name of Jesus!
Lord Jesus, let me not forget what Yoru resurrection means. Though we are separated from the events of that morning by two millennia, Your Name still rings in our ears. May we ever sing Your praises, Amen.