The Suffering Servant

 
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“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. 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

What would it be like if you were the king of a country or the President of the United States? The world would be your oyster. You would hob knob with the elite. You would be on the “A” list all the way.

But consider if you were the President of the United States, and you did not invite all of the Hollywood elite or the wealthy, but rather you extended your invitation to stay the night in the Lincoln bedroom to plain, ordinary people. Perhaps you invited a night guard at a warehouse or a housewife with her three kids, or even worse a thief or a woman of ill repute.

Imagine that you are the President of the most powerful nation in the world and you went bowling on Tuesday nights and drank beer in the lounge with the bowling league afterward, this would be quite an odd President indeed.

Jesus, Who is truly God, became a regular Joe (or Joshua as the case may be) for us.

He is God, He could have come and subdued the world with more power in His pinkie than the entire nuclear arsenal of the United States, but He didn’t. He rightly could have pressed us all into service and made us His slaves, but instead, He turned the tables and came to serve and not be served.

Imagine President Trump hanging out at a gas station and waiting to pump your gas for you. That would blow your mind, wouldn’t it? Now imagine God Himself coming and washing your feet, how much more wild is it that Jesus did that for His friends, who were of little account.

Jesus’ service went beyond just washing His friend’s feet.

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 6:23

None of us is without sin, and the least little sin eternally condemns us to death.

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” – Romans 3:23

We are all sinful, and a perfectly righteous God would be less than perfect or righteous if He were to shrug His shoulders at imperfection and unrighteousness. We are all in trouble because of our sinfulness.

Jesus served us like this…  We are all sinful, and we all deserve death and destruction, yet Jesus, God in the flesh, while we were on death row, He stepped in and said, I will take this penalty for them, let them go.

He stepped in and allowed Himself to be nailed to the cross that we had earned. He alone was without sin and yet He took all of the punishment for our sins.

On the last day, why will every knee bow at the name of Jesus and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord? Because right now, we do not know the depths of our sinfulness nor the mercy that our Savior has had on us in this selfless act of the suffering servant.

On the last day, we will no longer see through this glass dimly, but we will truly understand God’s perfection and His mercy. It will drive us to our knees with tears of gratitude and joy.

Give thanks to the Lord for He is good and His mercies endure forever, His forgiveness even outweighs our sin. Great is the Lord and great is His compassion for you and all of His creation, every tribe, and nation.

Craig Donofrio is currently serving as the Pastor of St. James Lutheran Church, in Cleveland Ohio. Craig Donofrio is the husband of Paula, master of Rufus, a Pastor,  Radio Professional, Author, former Missionary, and Communications Director for the Eurasia Region of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod’s International Missions. He holds a Bachelor of Business Management from Christ College Irvine and an MDiv. from Concordia Seminary St. Louis.