21 November 2011 by Matt Gumm

And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. (Philippians 2:8, ESV)

It was enough humility that Christ came to Earth as a human being, leaving behind heaven, and glory, and veiled His godhood so that, when he was looked upon, so that those around Him even gave him any thought (Is. 53:2-3). But His humility continued to the (very) bitter end, to accomplish the task His Father had set out for Him--the redemption of a people for himself. That redemption required something that Jesus couldn't do as only God, and that was die a sacrificial death.

His death was bitter in almost every way imaginable: he was betrayed by one of his own company, and abandoned by all the rest of them; his own people didn't recognize him; his execution was a complete travesty of justice; he was physically abused and executed in a manner that was horrific by any standards. Finally, this death signified the spiritual truth that Jesus died under God's curse.

All of this was driven by single-minded devotion to his earthly mission--to honor his father and complete the work that he was sent to accomplish.

The ugliness and shame of that obedient death on the cross stands as a stark reminder of the awfulness of sin, the cost of redemption, and the lengths God willingly undertook to save all those who would believe.