I don’t like to humble myself.
I love myself too much. That’s why I so need the Lord’s grace to serve and lay down my life for others. Apart from the Spirit’s power, I would only seek to be admired and served, to live for my own comfort and pleasure. I’d never associate with the lowly nor look to the interests of others.
How I need to contemplate the immeasurable humility of Jesus.
Before Jesus took on flesh he existed as God from all eternity, infinite in glory, power and majesty. All he had to do was give the word and the host of heaven would fly to do his will. Myriads and myriads of angels worshiped and served him. He had no needs, existing in perfect joyous fellowship with his Father and the Holy Spirit.
But Jesus “emptied himself” of his glory and took on a human nature. This self-humbling was the ultimate comedown.
For Jesus to tread the mud of this earth and suffer hunger and weakness and associate with sinners was a greater humiliation than if I became a cockroach, for Jesus is infinitely exalted above his creation, and I am certainly not infinitely exalted above cockroaches. Even the most radiant angels in heaven are only finite creatures, separated by an infinite chasm from the unfathomable greatness and glory of Jesus. Angels are closer to garden slugs in their being than they are to God. The highest order of creatures, seraphim, must cover their faces with their wings because they cannot bear the sight of Jesus’ blazing holiness.
Never has there been so deep a humiliation as Christ’s incarnation. But on the cross his humiliation reached incalculable depths when he “became sin” in God’s sight. Jesus, the sinless One, in bearing our crimes, became the most abhorrent, despicable thing that exists in his Father’s eyes.
And he did all this to purchase our salvation, to bring us to God, and clothe us with his own beauty.
That’s what Christmas is all about – the glorious Son of God, willingly embracing infinite humiliation to rescue and exalt vile sinners.
photo by kunkelstein