29 February 2008

Christ in Flesh.

This morning I've been reading chapter 2 of Philippians. Here's some commentary I found on Philippians 2:6:

who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped.

Jesus went from being God to dying a criminal's death on a cross. That's like a seven-step process of humility. The first step is going from undiminished deity into a human body. Paul writes that Christ was in very nature God. He shared all God's essential attributes such as perfect and absolute righteousness.

The second part of the verse says that he did not consider equality with God something to be grasped. For some reason, I've always read that as "he consider it impossible to be equal with God." But I had it all wrong! Jesus did not look upon equality with God as something to be grasped. He did not look upon it as a treasure to be found. He already possessed that treasure. He did not consider equality with God something to be grasped because "to be" is suggesting a future action and he was already grasping equality with God.

Even though he was in human body, he did not stop being God. Eternal life cannot stop. Instead, he set aside the use of his essence of God because of his mission. He set aside the voluntary use of his glory because he considered our soul of greater value than the humility of taking on humanity.
2:7 - but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.
He made himself nothing. Literally, he "emptied" himself. He set aside the voluntary use of his incommunicable attributes. In other words, he set aside the attributes than cannot be shared with man -- omniscience (all-knowing) and omnipresence (everywhere presence). It makes sense, but I had never though of it before. In the flesh, Christ wasn't physically everywhere at once. It's simply one of God's attributes that cannot be possessed by man.

I've read over and over of Christ becoming flesh, but it never hit me how big of a deal that is. Usually the emphasis is put on the sacrifice of Christ dying on a cross, but his incarnation is such a sacrifice as well! He did this all because he thought more of us than he did his own name. He wasn't forced to provide our salvation, he did it of his own will. Most people spend their entire lives trying to build up their own reputation, but Christ disregarded his reputation and shelved his rights as God. Hallelujah.
You probably can't tell, but my account says this is my 150th post. 150. Wow. I feel like I should have something cool like Google does on its birthday. I couldn't find any good clipart, so I'm settling for a representative license plate. Enjoy.


Matthew said...

how do you do the cool quote lines on the sides of your quotes?

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