And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
Philippians 2 describes what is known as Christ’s kenosis, or the emptying of Himself. In this, Jesus emptied Himself of His godliness to take on flesh and come to earth.
At Christmas we celebrate Jesus’ birth and focus on how His birth was humble even in human terms – being birthed in a stable and being laid in a feeding trough. This is just a physical reflection of Jesus’ true humility in coming to earth.
We can’t fully grasp everything that Jesus gave up when He became a man. He left the splendor of heaven to be surrounded by people who would mock and despise Him. He left perfect to sit in the squalor of a sinful world.
While a man, Jesus endured rejection by multitudes and was betrayed by a close friend. None of this comes close to the pain that He endured on the cross however. Not only was there physical pain but as is discussed in “Jesus’ Last Words”, He endured great spiritual pain.
Jesus didn’t have to go through any of this. But He did. He willingly humbled Himself to such a position because of His love for us.