“And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.” – Philippians 2:8
The apostle wants to make clear to his audience that Jesus, the eternal Son of God, took upon Himself a real human nature. Some have said that as true God, Jesus couldn’t take on sinful human flesh, therefore He had flesh that only seemed to be human but was of some heavenly substance. But Paul says, “No! Jesus is true God and true Man!” Only in this way could Jesus be our divine Substitute. Thus, as the incarnate Son of God, Paul tells us that Jesus gave Himself to the ninth degree – even death on a cross!
Crucifixion was the worst form of punishment in Roman society. For the Jews, to be hung on a tree was a sign of being accursed of God (Deuteronomy 21:22-23). That Jesus endured this shows us the extent of His saving work on our behalf, of His willingness to become a curse for us to remove our curse before God! (Galatians 3:13) For through His perfect obedience and sacrificial work, He has earned our salvation and is now able to impute His righteousness to our account when we confess our sins and trust in Him as our Saviour and Lord (2 Corinthians 5:21). Yes, how amazing is the work of Christ on our behalf! What joy and thankfulness should fill our hearts as a result! We should desire to live in such a way that others see Christ in us, and that the Lord might draw them to Himself!
Suggestions for prayer
Praise the Lord for His gracious, saving work! Let us not take the suffering of our Saviour for granted, but be ever thankful. May that be seen in our lives, in our worship, and in our witness to the lost of our world!
Rev. Merwin serves as minister of the Immanuel United Reformed Church of Listowel, Ontario, Canada. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com.