“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” (Philippians 2:5-8)
Just as God the Father and God the Holy Spirit have always existed as God, so has Jesus. This is the doctrine of the Trinity—three persons in one God, and each person is Himself God. We can’t grasp that concept completely, but the Bible says it many times in many places, so we can accept it as truth.
Our passage also says Jesus “took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men.” Jesus was God but took the form of a servant. He could have used His power as God but often didn’t. This may not be the best illustration in the world, but if you’re undercover on a major crime detail and a random guy flips a cigarette into the street, you’re not about to use your police power to write him a littering ticket and blow a big invest in the process. You hold off on your power until the time is right.
Jesus could have created a castle to sleep in at night, but He didn’t. Matthew 8:20 says “the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.” He could have made wine for the wedding feast without someone bringing water. He could have fed 5,000 people without a child providing five loaves and two fishes. He had, and still has, power over death. He raised a widow’s son who had died, as well as His friend, Lazarus. Yet He laid His power aside—at least in part—and let Himself experience things that people experience.
Jesus, the God-man, who took upon Himself the form of a servant, “became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” He could have stopped the whole travesty that was His trial and execution. Yet He let it all play out. In doing so, according to God’s plan, Jesus suffered the righteous punishment of a holy God against our sin. He became “sin for us, who knew no sin” (2 Corinthians 5:21) so we could have forgiveness of our sins. Jesus died, was buried, and rose again the third day: “I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen” (Revelation 1:18).
Finally we see, “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:9-11). You’ve probably heard Jesus’ name used as a swear word many times. One day that will end. Forever. In fact, all will bow the knee, even Satan himself will admit that Jesus Christ is Lord but he won’t in heaven as a result. He and his angels will have to bow before they’re cast into “everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matthew 25:41).
“The Hallelujah Chorus” in Handel’s “Messiah” includes these words: “The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.” They came from Revelation 11:15, “The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.”
Those who have received Jesus as Saviour and love His name will bow to Him joyfully. On the other hand, those who have despised and rejected Him will have to bow before Him as their Judge before they’re cast into hell. If the name of Jesus is nothing to you but a swear word, please think again. Think of what He did for you. Please receive him as Saviour. Please click “Helpful Links” and then “How Do I Go to Heaven?” on the main menu.
Cleveland Baptist Church | 4431 Tiedeman Road, Brooklyn, Ohio 44144 | 216.671.2822