Jesus Christ…though He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, by taking the form of a servant… – Philippians 2:6-7
Scripture reading: Matthew 20:20-28
Jesus took upon Himself, bore all the way to the cross, our envy. It was certainly not His own sin that caused Him to become accursed on Calvary. His life was one of giving up the highest position possible, considering it of greater joy for Himself and glory to the Godhead, to come down to earth and identify with the lowly. Envy is satisfied only in the lowering of someone who I perceive to be better or better off than me. Our Savior is satisfied only when He is unjustly punished and the guilty go free.
“The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.” Jesus did not require others to be brought lower to experience His identity as the Son of God and the one sent to die for the sins of the world. He was absolutely secure in His Father’s love and will. There is nothing twisted in His approach to us. He is the Shepherd who leaves the ninety-nine behind and will seek after the one sheep who was lost: “And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing.” This is what He longs after, this is what He rejoices in, the salvation of sinners, sons and daughters rejoicing around the table in His Father’s kingdom: “Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost!”
Suggestions for prayer
“Christ was all anguish that I might be all joy, cast off that I might be brought in, trodden down as an enemy that I might be welcomed as a friend.” – The Valley of Vision: Love Lustres at Calvary
This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Mark Stewart serves the Burlington URC in Burlington, WA.
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