For The Kingdom: Joy-Filled Living In Difficult Days | Day 28

“Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ 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.  And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore 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.” Philippians 2:5-11

The cries of “Hosanna!” The waving of the Palm branches. The laying down of the cloaks before Jesus as He entered Jerusalem. The celebration and honor of the triumphal entry on Palm Sunday… did not last for long. For the Pharisees, this was the straw that would break the Savior’s back; seeing the crowds cheering for Jesus only steeled their resolve that this rabble rousing rabbi must be eliminated. Using bribery, manipulation & deception, they viciously set forward a plot to turn the people and the Roman government against Jesus. This was a shocking turn of events for everyone. Everyone, that is, except Jesus.

Just a few days later, and only 1.25 miles from the place where He entered the city being cheered on by the masses as the coming King, Jesus was utterly alone in the darkness of the Garden of Gethsemane. All along, Jesus knew exactly what He was about to endure and suffer in total surrender to the will of the Father. Now, the bitter cup was pressed against His human lips, and He knew His time to partake was upon Him. Death was only part of the propitiation cocktail that awaited Him.  Many men have died for a cause they deeply believed in. Jesus knew that unlike any other man, His cup meant that He would bear the guilt and shame of the sin of the world and the ferocious wrath of God on the cross. Our forgiveness could only transpire if God would pour out the entirety of our punishment for sin upon His body, broken for us. Knowing this, He prayed, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” Luke 22:42. 

After praying this prayer, Judas Iscariot, one of the 12 friends whom He had walked with for 3 years who would confront him with an armed mob and betray him with a kiss. Falsely accused, maligned and mistreated in a hastily arranged miscarriage of justice, He was condemned by a chorus of His own people clamoring, “Crucify Him.” Beaten, mocked and maimed, Jesus did all of this as a servant in obedience to His Father’s will.  He “humbled himself by becoming obedient, to the point of death, even death on a cross.” Philippians 2:8

Jesus, the Servant of His Father, would soon be recognized once again as a King. “So they took Jesus, and he went out, bearing his own cross, to the place called The Place of a Skull, which in Aramaic is called Golgotha. There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, and Jesus between them. Pilate also wrote an inscription and put it on the cross. It read, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.” John 19:17-19

The Servant had been recognized as the King of the Jews, but He was not honored as the King. He was mocked and ridiculed by those whom He came to save. Jesus, before giving up His life on the cross, would pray once more to the Father on our behalf, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Luke 23:34.   This prayer from our Servant King was not only for those yelling at Jesus that day… it was for all of us. From the moment that sin entered into the world in the Garden of Eden, the redemptive plan of God was always to sacrifice His only Son to save us from our sin. We have all sinned against a Holy and righteous God and it is our sin that nailed Jesus to the cross. The first act of grace that God demonstrates to us in our personal salvation is opening our eyes to see what it is we have done. We are enemies of God, enemies of the cross; dead in our sin and in need of a Savior. Christ the Servant King came to serve us and serve His Father so that we might know eternal life.

Not only must we honor and remember the obedient sacrifice of Jesus, the Servant King, but we are also reminded that we too must “Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 2:5

Since Jesus the Servant King…

  1. Surrendered His rights to serve us and serve His Father, we too should surrender our rights to serve each other and serve our Father.
  2. Humbled Himself by becoming nothing, we too should humble ourselves and put the needs of others above our own.

There is no greater honor than to serve our Servant King in a way that reflects the way our Servant King served His Father.

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