Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Humbled and Exalted Christ

The incarnation, the cross, and the resurrection are inseparably connected. When God became a man He knew why He did so, and He knew where He was headed. The incarnation began the journey to the agony of the cross and the victory of the resurrection. And so, when we think of Advent, it should be far more than a cute baby and a Christmas card scene of the nativity. The nativity must be seen in its full context. It’s this context that brings the good news of salvation. The way up is down. This is the beginning of Christ’s humiliation: God—born as a man—in an obscure stable. He slipped into the world through the back door. In due time, the Father would exalt Him above all creation and declare Him to be King of kings and Lord of lords. The Westminster Shorter Catechism asks:

Q27:  Wherein did Christ's humiliation consist?
A27:  Christ’s humiliation consisted in his being born, and that in a low condition, made under the law, undergoing the miseries of this life, the wrath of God, and the cursed death of the cross; in being buried, and continuing under the power of death for a time.

Pastor Randy Booth, Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church, Nacogdoches, TX

Coming in the Likeness of Men
“Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8 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.  9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 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, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” —Philippians 2:5-11

Lord Jesus, we are grateful that You, in whom all the fullness of the Godhead dwelt bodily, humbled Yourself for our sakes. You condescended to reach us that we might be lifted up with You to everlasting glory. Work in us and teach us to be humble so that we might be exalted in due time. Amen.

Advent Action
Acknowledge your gratitude (verbally our in writing), to three people who have helped you get where you are (parents, grandparents, friends, pastor, etc.). Let them know that you are blessed by their help and are dependent on the kindness of others like them.

1 comment:

  1. Good point. There is much irony in the way God made the world. He made people in His image, endowed them with eternal value, and He blesses us with their love. Thanking them is a way of thanking Him; they are gifts. Jesus said, “Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me."