Christ Our Pattern (continued)
The Infinite Stoop
Our adorable Lord stooped from heights no finite mind can scale, to depths which no finite mind can fathom. He stooped to conquer, to overcome, to reign. As with satan's rebellion and revolt there has been five steps up (Isaiah 14:12-14), so with the Lord's obedience and overcoming there were five steps down.
The First Step Down - "He emptied himself" (Phil. 2:7).
Let us get clearly that it was the Lord Himself acting voluntarily regarding Himself. The emptying was not the result of compulsion but of choice. Of what did He empty Himself? Certainly it was not an emptying of Deity. He continued to be what He had always been, very God of very God. He did not empty Himself of Himself. He was still Himself with all that inherently belonged to His person as Son of God.
Of what then did the emptying consist? It was an emptying in relationship to "the form" of manifestation. He had been solely in "the form of God." Throughout all the eternity of the past there had been only the outward expression of the inward essence of Deity with all its accompanying legitimate desires and prerogatives of glory and sovereignty. The basic right of the eternal God is to rule and to be glorified as absolute Sovereign.
But He voluntarily stripped Himself of this "form of God." The Son of God became the Son of Man; and in so doing He relinquished every inherent right to the outward manifestation of Deity. Thus, while still in His human life retaining the plenitude of the Godhead, He lives and walked on earth among men as One emptied of it. The rights of rank and position of every kind inherently His as God He voluntarily and literally renounced to become Man. He clung to nothing that was His by inherent right. The Lord emptied Himself of "self". Thus in His self-humiliation He became the pattern of an Overcomer, not only to the Christians at Philippi, bu to the Christians of all ages: indeed your pattern and mine.
"He emptied Himself." The first step in that infinite stoop. None of us can ever fathom the depths of those words. The magnitude of the cost to Him of this first step down staggers human understanding and defies human conception, for it is a step from Deity to humanity, from heaven to earth; from eternity to time.
(continued with # 67)