Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
With the celebration of Christ’s resurrection in sight, we would be enriched to rehearse particular aspects of His life, ministry, death and resurrection.
The above account, given by the Apostle Paul reminds us that the incarnation, that is, God the Son taking on human flesh, was a voluntary act of His divine will. Leaving the glories of heaven behind, where He is ever worshiped and where sin and its consequences has not penetrated, Jesus voluntarily emptied himself, stepped into time and space and took on the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.
Some describe the account of His crucifixion as “the murder of Jesus.” While that description is perfectly understandable from a horizontal perspective, the truth is, no man took His life from Him, but rather He laid it down willingly (John 10:18). He humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
The significance of this truth is first, it reveals the nature and character of our creator. In His coming, God reveals His goodness and kindness. In His willing sacrifice on the cross He reveals His righteousness, justice, mercy and grace. Second, Christ’s willingness to come into this world reveals man’s nature, position and condition. The inherent sinful nature of mankind puts him in a position of condemnation before God making his condition hopeless and helpless. For mankind to ever be in right standing before God it required a righteous man to act on his behalf in life and in death. Jesus was that righteous man (the infinite God/man) who hung on the cross on our behalf, and He did so willingly.
When we look to the resurrection of Jesus Christ, we must see it as more than just another holiday to celebrate or that time of year we do the “church” thing. When we look to the resurrection, we must see it as it really is, the willing offering of our God to provide the only means through which mankind might be delivered from his hopeless and helpless condition of condemnation and to be forgiven of his sin to be made new. The resurrection declares there is no other way for mankind to stand before God in right standing than through faith in Christ’s willing sacrifice for our sins. Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift! (2 Corinthians 9:15)