Philippians 2:5-11, “Make your own attitude that of Christ Jesus, who, existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God as something to be used for His own advantage. Instead He emptied Himself by assuming the form of a slave, taking on the likeness of men. And when He had come as a man in His external form, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even to death on a cross. For this reason God highly exalted Him and gave Him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
Name above all names, yet He was the absolute image of humility. He did not use His equality with God the Father to achieve any thing while He was in His earthly body. He could have, but He didn’t.
“Instead He emptied Himself by assuming the form of a slave, taking on the likeness of men.”
In Matthew 11:29, Jesus said, “All of you, take up My yoke and learn from Me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for yourselves.” If our attitude is like His, then we will walk in total humility.
In those verses of Philippians, we can read where Paul, once a murderer of the faithful, now an apostle, chosen by God to deliver the gospel of Christ to the Gentiles (Romans 1:1 & 11:13) shows us two different faces of Christ, two distinct purposes, one divine and the other human.
The divine is Christ Jesus, “existing in the form of God”, obviously having equality with God, and a full revelation of God’s love for us as His one and only Son (1 John 4:9). John 1:1-4 tells us that Jesus was Jesus from the beginning, He is the Word from God, He created all things and all life is in Him, and when that life resides in men, it is light. In John 10:30, Jesus said, “I and the Father—We are one”.
Then we have the Man Christ Jesus. He did not covet the glory that was His Father’s. He laid aside the majesty of His former appearance, took part in our flesh and blood, all the while knowing that because He had emptied Himself of all that was divine, divested Himself of all honor and clothed Himself in the fabrics of a sinful world, He would walk the way of death in our place. His whole life was a life of humiliation, meanness, poverty, and disgrace; He had nowhere to lay his head, lived upon alms, was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, did not appear with external pomp, or any marks of distinction from other men. This was the humiliation of His life. But the lowest step of His humiliation was His dying the death of the cross. He became obedient to death, even the death of the cross. He not only suffered, but was actually and voluntarily obedient; He obeyed the law which He brought himself under as Mediator, and by which He was obliged to die.
He said, I will lay down My life. No one can take it from Me. I have the right to lay it down and I have the right to take it up again. That is the right that I received from My Father. (paraphrased – John 10:17-18).
If we look closely and carefully, we can see the pattern we should use, the example of our Lord Jesus Christ. If we are to be true imitators, then we must look at both of His faces.
If we are to be like-minded, if we are to be like Christ, we should be lowly-minded. We must walk in the same Spirit and in the same steps with the Lord Jesus, who not only gave Himself up to the death on the cross to satisfy God’s justice but laid Himself down on that cross to pay the price for our redemption.
Let us now pay attention to His life, both the divine and as the Man Christ Jesus and follow His example, stepping in His footsteps with determination and faithfulness.