Summary: PALM SUNDAY(A) - Have a Jesus attitude of earthly humility and eternal exaltation.
BE LIKE JESUS! ( or HAVE A JESUS ATTITUDE!)
Philippians 2:5-11 - March 4, 2004 – PALM SUNDAY
5Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: 6Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death--even death on a cross!
9Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
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Dearest Fellow-Redeemed and Saints in the Lord:
As we heard in our text for the second time, we notice a contradiction in terms, don’t we? We see that Jesus humbled Himself and then Jesus was exalted. Those two terms "humility" and "exaltation" are at the opposite ends of meaning--humility, to be brought low and exaltation, to be raised on high. Paul says to the believers and to us this morning we are to be like Jesus. Or we could say we are to have a Jesus attitude. When we look at that we realize, as we compare ourselves to Jesus, we are at opposite ends of the same spectrum. How are we who are sinners to be like Jesus who was sinless? How are we who are disobedient to be like Jesus who was completely obedient? How are we who are unholy to be like Jesus who is holy? Yet, that is what Paul reminds us about this morning--to be like Jesus.
The Book of Hebrews tells us how: "Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God" (HEBREWS 12:2). Scripture reminds us we are to be like Jesus when we look to Jesus. Looking to Jesus we discover that He was humbled to death on the cross (considering it a joy) and was raised up to sit on the throne of God, exalted forever.
We are to be like Jesus and have a Jesus attitude
I. with earthly humility
II. in eternal exaltation
I. Earthly humility
Our text begins with those very words of encouragement. It says: 5Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus. In the original it has a connecting word "Thus." This "thus" refers back to the attitude that Paul had described earlier. In verse 3 of the second chapter of Philippians, we are told the believers’ attitude which connects it with this section. It says: Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. And then our text continues, "Thus" that was the attitude of Jesus. Thus that was to be the attitude of these believers. Thus that should be the attitude of believers still today. Unless they would forget and misunderstand, Paul goes on to describe this attitude that Jesus had: 6Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7but made himself nothing. Paul reminded the believers that even though Jesus lived here on earth as a human being, but He was still God.
At the beginning or creation of the world, the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit who made the heavens and the earth and this same Jesus in our text was part of the Triune God: three persons and one God. Yet for a time this One who created the heavens and the earth gave up that divinity, and He took on the form of a servant. Jesus became nothing. He, who was rich and already sat in heaven and was exalted, gave it all up and became poor for our sins and lived here on earth. Today’s text continues: 7but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. Jesus was made to look like you and I. Jesus had real flesh and blood. Jesus lived here on earth having the same feelings. When His friend Lazarus died, Jesus wept. When Jesus was on the cross for those long hours, He was thirsty. At night Jesus was tired and during the day He was hungry.
Jesus was no different from mankind except Jesus was without sin. Jesus was no different except He did obey. Our text: Being made in human likeness. 8And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death--even death on a cross! Jesus obeyed the Law which man could not obey. Jesus kept that single command which Adam and Eve did not do. Adam and Eve had only one prohibition--not to eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil—and they disobeyed. Paul goes on, "He became obedient to death." Jesus obeyed so much that His obedience took him to death, and not just a normal death but obedient to death, even death on a cross. This was a torturous death, a death full of suffering, and a death that brought him down in humility.