Summary: Look at how much God loves you, as you watch Jesus this Holy Week!
NIV Philippians 2:5-11 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7 but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death-- even death on a cross! 9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
"THE GOD WHO LOVES YOU 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.
Here we are told that Jesus, even though he was in very nature God, 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 the Father. They were trying to boost themselves up. But Jesus was the opposite. Yes, he was God, but love is not about boosting yourself up. No - if you really love someone, you are willing to lower yourself, humble yourself, and that's exactly what Jesus did for you. 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 from the angels in heaven - he emptied himself. All of that incredible power, total wisdom, total glory – he emptied himself of all of these things.
If you think about it, this is the greatest demotion that has ever taken place. Imagine walking into work one day, and your supervisor says to you, "We are going to demote you. We are going to pay you a lot less money, and make you work harder." How would you feel about that? Would you like that? No! But that's what Jesus did - he took a voluntary demotion, and made himself nothing. Why? Because he loved you that much.
He took on the very nature of a servant, the Bible says. We’ve all had moments when we've served other people. Maybe we thought to ourselves, "I'm above this, but I'm going to do this anyway." A parent serves his child. An employee serves the customer. But Jesus? Becoming a servant? Maybe you've stumbled across the show "Undercover Boss" - I watched it for a couple episodes until my attention span couldn't take it anymore. The CEO of McDonald's disguises himself as a McDonald's worker, and makes French fries, and gets yelled at by customers, and washes dried ice cream off the floor. That's interesting. But more interesting is Jesus, the CEO of the universe, taking on the very nature of a servant. He washes the feet of his disciples. But an even more dirty job than that, he washes sin off the souls of the world. Why did he do this? Because his love for you was that great.
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. Just last month were the Academy Awards, as people were awarded for being great actors. Some say that Jesus did a great job of acting human - maybe he should get an Oscar for that! No, Jesus wasn't acting, he really was human. God who is unlimited became obedient to all the limitations of a human being. And then the ultimate moment - he became “obedient unto death.”