Summary: Ponder the humility of Jesus, and know that God loves you that much.
"BECAUSE GOD LOVED YOU THAT MUCH."
Imagine being part of the crowd that cheered for Jesus as he rode into Jerusalem that Sunday many years ago. What did they all shout again - do you remember the word? It was "hosanna!" Do you know what that word means? "Hosanna!" It means "Save!" That's what they were shouting as Jesus entered Jerusalem. Save us, Son of David. Save us, in the highest!
Today we're going to look at the humility of Jesus, as he came to save us. We see his humility as he chose a donkey as the animal he would ride on. And as the week progressed to Good Friday, we see his humility even more clearly, as he died on the cross for the sins of all mankind.
Today is Palm Sunday, the beginning of Holy Week. Today is the beginning of that moment in time when God looked at all the ugliness of sin in the world, and he did something about it. And as we watch what God did during Holy Week, it becomes very clear just how much God really loves each and every one of us. Today we marvel at God's love as we see our Savior's humility in Philippians chapter 2.
We are told that Jesus, even though he was God, he did not consider equality with God something to be grasped. Wasn’t that the sin of Adam and Eve, to strive to be equal to God, knowing good and evil? Jesus was the opposite – instead of lifting himself up, wanting to be equal with the Heavenly Father, the Bible says that he “made himself nothing.” He didn't just lower himself a little bit. He made himself nothing. In other words, he emptied himself of all of his glory. All of that praise and worship and obedience of the saints and angels in heaven, all of that incredible power, total wisdom, total glory – he emptied himself of all of these things. He was empty - made himself nothing Why? All because he who is God loved you that much.
He took on the very nature of a servant, the Bible says. He became a servant of God. A servant of man. A servant of you. He washed dirt off of his disciples’ feet. And right before he washed sin off of the souls of all mankind He said to his Heavenly Father, “Not my will, but your will be done.” He was the ultimate servant, placing you and me above himself, even though he was God, and everything, at one time, was below himself. Why did he do this? Because he loved you that much.
He was made in human likeness, the Bible says. Amazing, that God would become a human – a creature who gets hungry and thirsty and tired and feels pain and sadness. Isn’t it amazing, to imagine that God, who causes everything to grow in the earth – that he would get hungry and have to stand in line for food, just like everyone else? He even allowed himself to be tempted in every way, just as we are. Yet, he was without sin. And even that wasn’t enough. He lowered himself even further, becoming “obedient unto death.” Even though he was God, in charge of life and death, he became obedient unto death. God is the opposite of death. And yet, he allowed death to take his soul. Why? Because he loved you that much.
And even that wasn’t enough. “He became obedient unto death, even death on a cross.” The cross was the lowest way for a human being to die. To die on a cross was to be cursed by the Father. Crosses were for sinners. The worst of sinners. The ones that were abandoned by God and going to hell. That’s who dies on a cross. It was the equivalent of hell on earth. Jesus was willing to die that way because he loved you that much.
Yes, Jesus sees our sin. He sees the messes that we make in our lives. He sees the trouble we experience every day, because of the sinful world in which we live. And he responds by making this sacrifice, by humbling himself. He takes your sin away and makes it possible for God to forgive you. He gives you hope now, and for eternity. He does it all, because he loves you that much.
On Palm Sunday, we catch just a glimpse of our Savior’s humility. We also catch a glimpse of his glory. People were cheering for him, placing their cloaks on the road before him. This is just a glimpse of the glory that was yet to come.
His glory began on Easter and continued through his Ascension. Death was defeated. Sins were atoned for. God gives him the name that is above every name. Someday every knee would bow to Jesus, in heaven and on earth and under the earth. Rather than just a few people on Palm Sunday, it would be trillions of people on Judgment Day.