He made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. Philippians 2:7
Imagine the One who made cedars spring from seeds starting life over as an embryo; the One who made the stars submitting Himself to a womb; the One who fills the heavens becoming what would be in our day a mere dot on an ultrasound. Jesus, in very nature God, making Himself nothing (Philippians 2:6–7). What an astonishing thought!
Imagine the scene as He’s born in a plain peasant village, among shepherds and angels and bright lights in the sky, with the bleating of animals His first lullabies. Watch as He grows in favor and stature: as a youngster, astounding teachers with answers to grand questions; as a young man at the Jordan, getting His Father’s approval from heaven; and in the wilderness, as He wrestles in hunger and prayer.
Watch next as He launches His world-changing mission—healing the sick, touching lepers, forgiving the impure. Watch as He kneels in a garden in anguish and as they arrest Him while His closest friends flee. Watch as He is spat on and nailed to two wooden posts, the world’s sins on His shoulders. But watch, yes watch, as the stone rolls away, an empty tomb ringing hollow, because He is alive!
Watch as He is lifted to the highest place (v. 9). Watch as His name fills heaven and earth (vv. 10–11).
This Maker of the stars who became a dot on an ultrasound. This, our Christmas Child.
What would life and history be like had Jesus never been born? What prayer or poem can you offer God to thank Him?
Jesus, thank You for making Yourself nothing so I could be forgiven.
Along with Jesus’ ultimate and horrific sacrifice of death on the cross to pay the debt we owed for our sins (Philippians 2:8), Jesus also sacrificed by coming to earth as a man. Why was this a sacrifice? Philippians 2:7 says, “he made himself nothing.” Although still God (and possessing His attributes, such as omniscience and omnipotence), Jesus didn’t cling to the privileges of deity. Instead, He gave them up (including heavenly communion with the Father) to become a man subject to pain, suffering, temptation, thirst, hunger, and a need for sleep. And though He could have come as a king with a palace full of servants, He instead was born to a poor couple in a lowly manger. He suffered pain, betrayal, and desertion; He humbly served as a healer and teacher; and He was obedient to God—even to death—so that we could be reconciled to Him (Romans 3:23–26).