rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death —
even death on a cross! Philippians 4:7-8
The phrase today’s passage starts off with is “ekenosen” in Greek, which literally means he “emptied himself.” This does not mean that Jesus gave up his deity, which is his nature as fully God. However, it does mean that he voluntarily laid aside the privilege of his limitless existence as God, including his heavenly glory, position, riches, rights and the use of his attributes as God. This “emptying himself” also meant taking on human suffering, misunderstanding, mistreatment, hatred and, in the end, the curse of death on the cross.
Although Jesus remained fully divine, he took on a human nature with its temptations, humiliations and weaknesses; yet, he endured all of these without sin. This means that he never offended or defied God or did anything wrong by God’s perfect standard. That is why he was able to make the perfect sacrifice and pay the ultimate and complete penalty for our sin once and for all.
Today’s Bible Readings:
Joshua 3-4, Luke 14:7-35, Psalm 80:1-19 and Proverbs 12:27-28