He made the clouds His chariot riding throughout the endless expanse of the universe. He walked on the wings of the wind among the stars, calling each by name. He existed outside the confines of time and space. All power was in His hands. He spoke and worlds formed at His bidding. Life awoke and stirred with His every breath. Angels served Him. The Heavenly Host bowed low at His feet. Praise for Him flowed across the reaches of every dazzling galaxy. All glory belonged to Him alone.
Then in a chosen moment of eternity…“(He) made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.” (Philippians 2:7)
He became a squalling baby, a child with skinned knees and the son of a poor man’s town. He grew in years and then became the object of scorn and rejection when He stepped into His preordained purpose. Nevertheless, His words lifted up a fallen people. His hands healed a sick and dying multitude. Light remained wherever He had been. In Him was life. Yet, His destination bid Him to come, to come and die.
“And being found in appearance as a man…” and with the frenzied screams of “Crucify Him, Crucify Him, Crucify Him” echoing through the ages…“ He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.” (Philippians 2:8) He forlornly cried out from the place of the Skull, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani!” (Mark 15:34)
Heaven answered with silence.
The grave swallowed Him in death and held on with everything it had. But on the third day He cast off the shackles of death and emerged to the unrestrained merriment of rejoicing angels and the utter astonishment of many witnesses. “Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:9-11)
Why, beloved? Why did He come to die on that cursed tree? Love brought Him. A love too big for us to understand, yet so wonderful it wraps us in its arms and grandma hugs the rebellion right out of us. And this love picks us up and carries us away and leaves our condemnation lying in the dust to be blown away and forgotten.
Yes, He came to pay off and close our bank account full of condemnation. He is more than a prophet, far more than just another road to heaven; He alone is God’s way of redemption. And “who (ever) believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” (John 3:18)
He answers those who claim otherwise: “You are from beneath; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.” (John 8:23-24)
His name stands above every other “nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)
What of us who do believe? How shall we live? We “live by faith in the Son of God, who loved (us) and gave Himself for (us).” (Galatians 2:20) He gave Himself for you, for me, for us. His vast Kingdom is now established in our hearts, and we see Him exalted and glorified, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords! We see Him riding on the chariots of clouds, walking on the wings of the wind amongst the stars, speaking life into His creation. All power is in His hands. All glory belongs to Him. And we join the Heavenly Host bowing at His feet singing choruses of praise to the One called “Faithful and True.”
And we determine to no longer live for ourselves, but only – for Him.