Summary: This is the first in a six part Easter Series. The premise comes from Phil. 2:5-7 where it states that Jesus "emptied Himself, taking on the form of a bond-servant." We too need to be emptied so we can be filled with the fullness of Christ alone.
#1 in the SERIES: “Empty”
MAIN TEXT: Mark 14:3-9
Today, we start a new series that will lead us into RESURRECTION SUNDAY!
EMPTY! (Allow me to set the foundation for all that I believe God wants to say to us.)
I have been contemplating and praying about this series for a while and believe that the Lord has a word in it for us all – a word that has been percolating in my heart for a while now…
The BIG IDEA for the series? EMPTY – to be filled with the fullness of Christ! But, WE have to choose to EMPTY ourselves, of self, so that we can make room for Christ to fill us back up.
There is a verse of Scripture that initiated the BIG IDEA for this series, and it is Philippians 2:5-7, “Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.” In particular, this phrase in verse 7, “but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant”
Just consider that thought for a moment, “Christ EMPTIED Himself.” Now, in no way is it meaning that Jesus emptied Himself of anything. Otherwise, Jesus would be less God or less human and that isn’t what the Scripture is teaching us.
The original Greek word, for EMPTY means, “to empty, to make empty; or to make vain or void.” You see, Jesus did set aside some things for a season, like Heaven. And He accepted certain limitations, suffering and lowliness of body to save us!
But, what Philippians is trying to tell us is that Jesus POURED Himself out or made Himself nothing for us! As He invested Himself into us! Jesus humbled Himself and accepted the role of a bondservant. And THAT is the essence of what God wants to say to us over the next six weeks!
In response, we are to humble ourselves to accept the role of a bondservant of Christ! But, I don’t have to tell you that our flesh will resist this. Thus, the reason that we have to EMPTY ourselves; pouring out our desires, dreams and personal ambitions out to fulfill the Lord’s will, purpose and plan for us. Then, when you do, you will be filled with the fullness of Christ!
After all, Jesus did it for us! And the main character in our lesson today, did it herself. She DRAINED her alabaster box on Jesus!
Our Goal: To Be Filled With The Fullness Of Christ!
Mark 14:3-9, “While He was in Bethany at the home of Simon the leper, and reclining at the table, there came a woman with an alabaster vial of very costly perfume of pure nard; and she broke the vial and poured it over His head. But some were indignantly remarking to one another, “Why has this perfume been wasted? For this perfume might have been sold for over three hundred denarii, and the money given to the poor.” And they were scolding her. But Jesus said, “Let her alone; why do you bother her? She has done a good deed to Me. For you always have the poor with you, and whenever you wish you can do good to them; but you do not always have Me. She has done what she could; she has anointed My body beforehand for the burial. Truly I say to you, wherever the gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be spoken of in memory of her.”
Does anyone love to eat? (It’s the only thing you can do as a Christian.)
Have you ever eaten so much of something that you have made yourself sick?!
I always feel like I have an obligation to do that when I go to a buffet. I want to make sure I get my money’s worth and then I leave regretting the whole experience. Then, I only wish that I could hit a button and DRAIN all that stuff out of me so I can feel better.
Well, it may not be food for you, but it could be something else. We humans tend to always want to live on “FULL” in ever area of our lives. We want contentment, security, happiness and abundance. If it is any other way, we aren’t happy.
I think this statement is really true, “Someone who is full of themselves is truly empty.” And Jesus teaches us that all through the Gospels.
(Keep that in mind for a minute, the idea of “Being full.”)
Now, we are in what is called, “The Lenten Season.” It is a time in some Church calendars when people are encouraged to give something up for Christ in recognition of His sacrifice for us. As well as to share in the suffering of Christ, like giving up chewing gum or drinking coffee could even compare to what Jesus sacrificed for us.