“And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.”
Now we come to the sixth statement of Jesus’ descent into humanity.
“he humbled himself”
Jesus’ life was not extracted from Him. He gave his life freely. His blood was not spilled; it was shed. Spilled speaks of an accident. His death was planned from eternity, “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Rev. 13:8).
Our Lord spoke of humility in Luke 14:11: “For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” God’s people are to humble themselves. He set a great example. God will not do this for us. This we must do. However, if we go on in our willful way, God will humble us: “lest, when I come again, my God will humble me among you” (2 Co. 12:21). If I refuse to humble myself, God will humble me.
Our Lord Jesus Christ humbled Himself. He was no unwilling victim who was maneuvered to the cross from which He could not extricate Himself. He counted the cost; He knew exactly what was involved. He was born to die.
“Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself, I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.” (John 10:17,18)
“Who gave Himself for our sin, that He might deliver us from this present evil age.” (Gal. 1:4)
“. . . the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” (Gal. 2:20)
“As Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.” (Eph. 5:1)
“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her.” (Eph. 5:25)
It is clear that Jesus willingly gave—donated—His life for us. He humbled Himself. Looking down the corridors of time, He saw us in the grip of sin and willingly gave Himself for us.
To humble oneself involves volition.
Have we with deliberation humbled ourselves for the sake of others?
We now come to the seventh and final statement of the enormous descent of the Lord Jesus from the essence of God to a criminal’s death.