Our Lenten devotional for today comes to us from our Campus Minister to the Baptist Student Ministry, Doug Cherry. Doug and his wife Kiki joined our campus ministry team last summer, and have been working hard this year cultivating their ministry to our TCU students. Doug’s kind and easy-going presence offer a comforting place to process, discern, and grow in your faith, which is why I invited him to write a devotional during this season of Lent. I hope and trust that they will invite you to pause and reflect on this day as you continue on your Lenten journey. Blessings to you, my friend…
“(Jesus) 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.” – Philippians 2:7-8 (esv)
According to John 1:14, Jesus humbled himself to become a man. He moved from timeless eternity, and infinite divinity, to become human. In many ways, he set aside the practice and demonstration of his divinity. While he was and always is divine, he entered the world, and voluntarily chose to live a life within the confines of humanity. While there is no doubt that Jesus is fully God, it is worthwhile to contemplate how much he chose to do, not in his own divinity, but in a human like dependence on the power of the Father and the Holy Spirit.
For example, there are countless times when Jesus retreats to the wilderness to pray. If he was operating from his divinity, would it be necessary for him to pray? He sought the presence of God in the same way we would, by crying out to the heavenly Father in prayer.
Philippians 2:7 tells us that “God made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant”. And, in Hebrews 2:14 we learn that Jesus “shared in our humanity”. So why did Jesus do these things? In part, he chose to seek the Father and depend on the Spirit in order to demonstrate to his disciples how they too were to receive his power for their lives and ministry.
In this season, let us consider the humanity of Jesus as he approached the Cross. Jesus had the power to demonstrate his glory and stop his own arrest, trial, and crucifixion. However, he chose to move forward as a man, and to bear the penalty of the sins of the world. He was totally dependent on the Father and the Spirit for strength in this moment. In Matthew 26, we see Jesus respond to the hour at hand when he says, “my soul is very sorrowful, even to the point of death”, and, “if it is possible, let this cup pass before me”.
Heavenly Father, thank you for the example of Jesus. By choosing to live as a man, he has demonstrated to us how we are to abide, and depend on you and your power. Amen.