Devotional Thoughts: Be like Christ, reloaded
I'm revisiting it again. One can spend many a sermon and many a blog post unpacking this little but meaty passage.
Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God ...
One can make distinctions between "form" and "substance." For instance, in life, someone can have the "form" of having life "altogether" but the substance of that person's life could be entirely different.
Clearly that was not the case with Jesus because the text goes onto say, ... did not consider it robbery to be equal with God ...
Jesus is equal to God. If he wasn't it would be robbery for him to make that claim.
When someone makes an exorbitant claim there are only several possibilities: the claimant is delusional (belief doesn't match reality), a fraud (doesn't believe the claim but makes it to fool others) or truthful.
... but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men ...
Traditional Christian theology says Jesus was both divine and human. How that actually works, I have no idea. But the bottom line is that Jesus left the heavenly places to walk among us.
A few years back there was a popular song by Joan Osborne called One of Us.
What if God was one of us?I have no idea what her religious beliefs are but she posed the right question and the answer was JESUS was ONE of US!
Just a slob like one of us
Just a stranger on the bus
Tryin' to make his way home?
If God had a face what would it look like?
And would you want to see if, seeing meant
That you would have to believe in things like heaven
And in Jesus and the saints, and all the prophets?
And indeed, Osborne is right in asking, would you want to see if seeing meant that you would have to believe ...
It is easier to keep Jesus in the good teacher box. A good teacher is somebody you might say a few nice things about. Maybe even admire to some extent. But if Jesus was God, I mean *really* God then we would have to confront our sin. We would have to answer for the lives we have led.
And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.
All humans die.
Jesus went through the most universal of human experiences. But unlike most humans, his death was a torturous one. Dying on a cross was a brutal way to die. Jesus who can, without robbery, claim to be equal to God gave up those rights and died a criminal's death.
Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
The great descent from the heavenly realm to be one of us and to die the worst kind of death is followed by the great ascent. Jesus returns to his rightful place. Right now, not every knee bows. But a time will come when every one will recognize Jesus as the Lord.
Dear Jesus, thank you that you gave yourself up for me. Help me to be like you and be willing to sacrifice for others. Help me to see who I really am. On one hand, I'm a sinner just like everyone else. But on the other hand, I'm yours. You have bought my life with your death. Help me to know the comfort in this. Help me to know the joy in this. Help me to know the power in this. Amen.