Reflections from the Pew – April 2023

In this Easter season, how does Philippians 2 help us to understand more about the cross?

Jesus’ Example: v6-8:

“He did not consider equality with God something to be used to His own advantage … And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled himself by becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross.”

Here, Paul reminds us of how Jesus, although fully God from eternity, entered our world as a man to take on a life of service.  “He made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.”  He completely surrendered Himself, by identifying with all the weaknesses, problems, and frailties of human life. This took Him to the cross, where He rescued us from the power of sin and death, so that we might know God’s eternal life.

Our Response: v3-5:

Paul says that our relationships should reflect the same attitude as Jesus.  “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit.  Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.  “We should look out for the needs of others before our own.  This will transform our relationships at home and church.  How practically can we develop a “cross attitude”?

God’s Purpose: v9-11:

The resurrection demonstrates how God has exalted Jesus in triumph.  “Therefore, God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name” (v9).  Our willingness to serve, like Jesus, will be rewarded by God, especially when we feel used or exploited.

This is our God, The Servant King,
He calls us now to follow Him,
To bring our lives as a daily offering,
Of worship to The Servant King’.

(Graham Kendrick, 1950 -)

The feature image for this post is taken from inside one of the box pews in Petton Church, looking towards the entrance.

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