The Glory Came Down

Suppose you were the president of a major corporation, and you found out that a janitor was having problems at home. His wife was very ill and they couldn’t afford someone to take care of her. The janitor was torn, because he needed the job to put food on the table. If he looked after her, he would lose his job. So the president left his office on the top floor of the home office and finished cleaning the toilets on the first floor so the janitor could go home to look after his wife, and would continue the janitors work for him until his wife improved. Then he arranged to exchange his salary for the janitor’s salary until they were financially free. That doesn’t even remotely come close to what Jesus did.

In the vast ocean of eternity there was a tidal wave of time that began with the incarnation of Christ and ended with His crucifixion. God stepped out of eternity into time in order that we might step out of time into eternity. His example set the bar so high that human achievement is beyond our grasp. The incarnation was the sternest possible rebuke to our pride. We cannot fully comprehend the example of Christ who “emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men” (Phil. 2:7). He went from the highest state of being to the lowest state of human existence, becoming a helpless infant born in a manger to humble parents with no social status. For you and I to become a slug or a worm doesn’t come close to approximating the descent of Jesus. “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth” (Jn. 1:14). Jesus was the perfect manifestation of God.

Our Lord’s time came to an abrupt end at the crucifixion, which was the sternest possible rebuke to our selfishness. “We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren” (1 Jn. 3:16). Can you imagine what life on earth would be like if we all believed the Apostle Paul and lived according to Phil. 2: 3-5:

Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus.

Dr. Neil

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