The eternal existence of Christ is mind-boggling. The thought of an eternal future seems like a less daunting idea. But no beginning? I can’t even begin to wrap my mind around the concept. Yet Christ had no beginning, which makes the humility and the mystery of his incarnation all the more profound.
For an eternity He had experienced the fullness of power and strength. Yet He came to earth, and taking on humanity, experienced physical weakness and fatigue. He was the creator of mankind, but humbled Himself to be born of a woman. He, who had never known need, became a baby that relied on His mother for sustenance.
For an eternity He had enjoyed glory and honor. Yet He came to earth, and taking on humanity, His conception was tainted with suspicion, stigma, and scandal. It seems likely that He heard whispers of shame as a child, reviled, as those around Him speculated about the sordid past of His mother.
For an eternity He had enjoyed an abundance of riches. Yet He came to earth, and taking on humanity, was born amidst the filth and stench of a stable. Rather than receiving a Kingly welcome, He became a refugee. Rather than residing in a palace, He lived in poverty.
For an eternity He had been clothed in majesty, so beautiful that eyes could not behold His face. Yet He came to earth, and taking on humanity, bore no stature or beauty. Before His years of ministry, His popularity, or shroud of notoriety, He was just a forgettable face in the crowd.
For an eternity He had experienced perfect communion and friendship within the Trinity. Yet He came to earth, and taking on humanity, experienced relational discord. He was misunderstood by His family, betrayed by His friends, falsely accused by leaders, rejected by others, and in sacrificial love, estranged from His Father.
For an eternity He had known nothing but satisfaction. Yet He came to earth, and taking on humanity, experienced every temptation. Even when He felt hunger and held the power to turn stones into bread, He resisted the devil so that He could crush his head.
For an eternity He had been King, and after creating the angels was surrounded by multitudes who bowed at His feet. Yet He came to earth, and taking on humanity, He lived as a servant. Laying down His crown, he bent to wash the feet of friends.
Typically when pondering the humility of Christ we think upon His death. But it started at His birth and marked His entire life. Celebrate with awe the birth of Jesus, “who, though He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men” (Phil. 2:6-7). It is because of this humility, this incarnation, this temporary emptying of His eternal Kingship, that we can share the rest of eternity with Him in worship.
“…God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Phil. 2:9-11)
Col. 1:15-20, John 4:6, Rev. 4, Matt. 1:18-19, 2 Cor. 8:9, Matt. 2:13-23, Matt. 8:20, Exod. 33:20-23, Isa. 53:2, Mark 3:20-21, Luke 22:47-48, Luke 22:54-61, Luke 23:1-39, Matt. 27:46, John 13:1-15, Heb. 4:15, Matt. 4:1-11