Sometimes Eugene Peterson just says what needs to be said. I love the Message bible, because it is a refreshing way to hear God’s word. For the rest of the Christmas season, we are going to look at the event from some different perspectives and literally rest in the joy of our Lord’s gift that restored our ability to have fellowship with God.
In order for us to really appreciate the gift of salvation, we must first understand the real cost of the gift. After all, one can better appreciate the heart and love put into a gift by understanding the value it had to the giver. We have all received the regifted item that a giver unknowingly received from us the year before. It is not that we do not appreciate the thought, but it makes the value reduced to know that they did not appreciate the gift we gave and did not appreciate us enough to spend time, thought or treasure to show love for us.
Philippians 2 does an amazing job of putting an objective valuation of God’s gift to us. Jesus was God! It was not a position He had to earn. It was also not a position he had to fight to keep. He was simply and majestically God! He then took that deity and set it aside on our behalf. Then having set aside His omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence; Jesus made himself nothing and put on a human form. Not only did Jesus become human; He also became a servant. He served by living humbly. He served by teaching us the true nature of God. He served by healing the sick, raising the dead, freeing the persons enslaved by the enemy, and by loving the very people who would later take his life.
Christ’s death was no small gift. His sacrifice was astronomical. it was not a coincidence; it was not a mistake, and it was thought through to the last detail. We could never match its value personally or to the world. As we come into this Christmas, as HIs chosen, we need to think of ways to give back to the Lord a gift that will be valuable and well thought out. Jesus does not deserve our regifts or afterthoughts!
God Bless You
Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn’t claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that—a crucifixion.
9-11 Because of that obedience, God lifted him high and honored him far beyond anyone or anything, ever, so that all created beings in heaven and on earth—even those long ago dead and buried—will bow in worship before this Jesus Christ, and call out in praise that he is the Master of all, to the glorious honor of God the Father.