Friday, March 30, 2018
Philippians 2:5-8 5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
After spending the last few days digging into the truth of spiritual unity in the church, the Apostle Paul now shows us the supreme example of these truths applied to a person’s life. He points us directly to Jesus and His SACRIFICE. It is appropriate that we come to this subject today, on this year’s Good Friday.
Please draw your attention to verse 8.
And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
Now focus your eyes on one word – even.
There is no doubt in my mind that I would put my life at risk to save my wife. I would do it for my children. I would do it for my grandchildren. I would like to believe I would do it for you, too.
But our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ went far beyond what I am willing to do. He put His life at risk for His enemies. He voluntarily sacrificed His life for those who hated Him, mocked Him, and abused Him.
Yet even in that, we have not discovered the meaning of the word even. If all we understand is that Jesus obeyed the will of the Father and died for sinners, we have sufficient faith for salvation if we identify as a sinner and receive His forgiveness. But Paul says there is more than just obedience to the point of death, there is obedience even to death of a cross.
It was not sufficient for Jesus to die for sinners: He had to die as a sinner. He not only died for His enemies, He literally became His own enemy and died. He had to, for our sake. Our salvation depends upon the Father declaring Jesus guilty and deserving of death. Read Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians 5:21.
For our sake he[God] made him[Jesus] to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
This is the story of Good Friday. This is the meaning of sacrifice. We see Jesus, the perfect Son of God, becoming obedient to the Father to die not just for us, but as one of us. He was, by death on a cross, publicly declared to be merely human. He was judged guilty of sin. He was condemned as nothing more than a mortal deserving of death. Yet His unjustified condemnation was God’s purpose to save those who are justifiably condemned – you and I. His sacrifice as one of us makes possible our exaltation as one of His children.
I believe most of us, if not all of us, would be willing to sacrifice our life for the sake of those who love us. But I am equally convinced that we also put limitations on how much risk we will endure for the sake of those who hate us.
On this day of commemorating the death of Jesus on the cross, remember the word even. Jesus died for even His enemies. He died even as the enemy of God. He died even for me.