Journey to the Cross

[Ed. – This is a devotional that I put together for the Lenten Luncheon.  Dale preached this in my place.}

We are starting the journey to the cross. It is a journey that people have been going through for thousands of years – journey that began in humility.  We read in Philippians 2:6-8

Though he was God,
he did not think of equality with God
as something to cling to.
Instead, he gave up his divine privileges;
he took the humble position of a slave
and was born as a human being.
When he appeared in human form,
he humbled himself in obedience to God
and died a criminal’s death on a cross.

The journey to the cross started when Jesus – who is the second person of the Trinity – decided to come to earth as a baby.  This an act of humility. It might seem odd to talk about Jesus coming to earth at Easter, because we talk about that during Advent and the Christmas season. We need to remember that you cannot divorce the baby in the manger from the man on the cross. Recently, Dale and I have been around our one month old granddaughter. It has been a great reminder of how helpless that babies can be. When I held her, I thought about Jesus coming as a baby and how helpless Jesus was as a baby. Anna (our grand daughter) is dependent on those who are around her to do everything for her. She can’t do anything for herself.  Imagine the creator of this universe – lowered himself to walking in our footsteps. Remember Genesis 1: 26-27

Then God said, “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us. They will reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on the earth, and the small animals that scurry along the ground.”

So God created human beings in his own image.
In the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.

When God said let us make human beings he was talking to Jesus and the Holy Spirit.

He wanted to understand the people he came to save.  Even though God made each one of us and knows us more than anyone else does – God need to know what it felt like to be human – to know our sufferings and how it felt to be tempted.  God became 100% human. When he was on earth Jesus was not only 100 % human, he was also 100% God. I know this is a hard thing to understand, but I tell my kids at our church that this is one of those faith moments. Think about how the flesh and bone that are so natural to us as humans felt like to Jesus.  It must have felt like a strait jacket to Jesus – who was 100% God. Also think of how it felt to be held down by gravity.  Remember that God is omnipresent which means God is everywhere in time, space, and history.  There no place that you can go and to be away from God.  Jesus came in obedience to live on the earth to die a criminal’s death on the cross. But before he died on the cross he wanted to understand the people he was going to save by going to the cross.  He needed to be broken as a human so that we can come to the cross – broken and know that our Savior understands our pain.

Paul continues on in this passage to tell us how Jesus was honored because he was obedient and submitted himself to God’s will. in Philippians 2: 9-11

Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor
and gave him the name above all other names,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

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