Summary: Saddam Hussein made the humilating transition from palace to rat hole out of necessity. Jesus did it for love
Christmas – From Glory to Rat Hole - 2003
• About 9 months ago it was the toppling of a statue that focused the world’s attention on Iraq, this past week it was the real thing
• dramatic footage of Saddam Hussein being manhandled by an American doctor as he was subjected to a medical examination and checked for head lice
• This once proud, arrogant dictator who once made nations quake, found disheveled, humiliated and disgraced in a rat hole at the back of a farm
• Had to chuckle at the soldiers comment, “President Bush sends his regards”
• Saddam is now going to face the justice he denied so many others
• What was ironic about the capture was that the rat hole was just across the river from one of his 50 odd palaces fitted out with the finest Italian marble and gold
• In a matter of months Saddam had gone from magnificent splendor to a squalid rat hole
2000 years ago God made a similar journey
• God in the person of Jesus Christ laid aside his heavenly glory in order to take up residence in a squalid rat hole of sin
• The big difference of course was God’s journey was one of choice, whereas Saddam’s was one of necessity to save his miserable skin
• In Jesus’ case it was a matter of willingly giving up His skin and a whole lot more. He gave up everything He had
• Let’s go over to Phil 2. This was a hymn of the early church
5 Your attitude should be the same that Christ Jesus had. 6 Though he was God, he did not demand and cling to his rights as God. 7 He made himself nothing; he took the humble position of a slave and appeared in human form. 8 And in human form he obediently humbled himself even further by dying a criminal’s death on a cross.
• The incarnation is considered the greatest miracle of all time, even greater than the resurrection. Even Lazarus was raised from the dead, but God becoming man……
• Imagine this scene in heaven for a moment
• All the splendor of heaven at Jesus’ beck and call, God the Father and the Holy Spirit are His constant companions, legions of angels are at his disposal, He has inheritant life, He glows like the sun in full strength, He is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent
• Set all this aside and came down to live in our rat hole
• Not because he was forced by circumstances like Saddam, but because He loves us
• The key word in this passage is humility, one of the greatest characteristics of “love”
• In His humility Jesus set aside His glory, He came to live in our rat hole
• In his humility He came for you and I, we couldn’t save ourselves so He came to do it for us
• In his humility He came to take us by the hand and lead us out of our rat hole to heavenly mansions
• In his humility He emptied Himself so we could be exalted
Why would God Almighty humble himself like this?
• Was it because He saw some special merit in us, or that we are deserving of his love?
• No! He came into our rat hole because He loves us
• People talk about the reason for the season. That first Christmas the reason for the season was not Jesus Christ it was us – we were the original reason for the season. He came to save us
• Of course we now acknowledge Jesus as the reason for the season because of what He subsequently did for us
In contrast to Jesus’ humility, what was mankind’s reaction to this greatest of all miracles?
• Mostly our reaction was one of pride
• Because of our pride we rejected Him. We are so twisted in our sin we are content to hide in our rat hole from the only one who can save us
• In our pride we think there is some merit in God saving us – some even think they can earn their salvation
• In our pride, we don’t want to descend like He did, we want to be lifted up
• In our pride we promote ourselves and reject his way of humility
• Let me read how Max Lucado puts it
• It’s that time of year again. More than any other season, we’re reminded of the remarkable gift of the Savior. A
God whose rescue mission transported Him from the throne of glory to the heart of humanity. Why did He do it?
Because your soul was more important than His blood. Your eternal life was more important than His earthly life. Your place in heaven was more important to Him than His place in heaven, so He gave up His place so you could have yours.