Acts 8:33 “In his humiliation justice was denied him. Who can describe his generation? For his life is taken away from the earth.”
Philippians 2:6-8 is essential for understanding this and I want to look at it again.
“Though he was in the form of God, (he) did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself to the point of death, even death on a cross.”
You see, He was and is God. What does it mean that He did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped? It does not mean that He could not understand it, believe it, or comprehend it. Jesus Christ knew that He was one with God, and stated Himself “before Abraham was I AM (John 8:57).” The word grasped, in the original language means to be “seized” or to “hold fast.” So in other words, although He was God and deserved to receive from people all that God demands, He humbled Himself, laying down His rights as God and did not demand to be treated as God. He did not exercise His full benefits and capabilities as God.
Though He had all power to provide for His own needs, as well as destroy all hindrances in His way, He can be found in scripture hungry, tired, thirsty, and with no place to rest His head (Luke 9:58). He can be found on His knees offering “prayers and supplication, with loud cries and tears, to Him who was able to save Him from death (Hebrew 5:7).” See Him facedown in Gethsemane “greatly distressed and troubled… ‘sorrowful, even to death.’(Mark 33-34).”
Though able to execute justice or to stop men’s mouths, He was lied about, ridiculed, and scrutinized by mere men. In fact, He allowed Himself to be treated like a worm, like a dog, like an apostate, like a murderer. For a time He chose to serve His creation, to bear with them and sacrifice Himself in love for them, even to the point of death on a cross. It is incredibly important to understand that His nature did not change, but rather that He laid aside His rights as God. Listen to these words of Jesus that show how much He humbled Himself and had to have much patience while living among a cursed, finite, and unbelieving generation of people.
Matthew 17:17 “O faithless and twisted generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you?”
Mark 8:17-18 “Do you not yet perceive or understand? Are your hearts hardened? Having eyes do you not see, and having ears do you not hear?”
He patiently endured our weakness, blindness, idolatry, false religion, arrogance, sin, self love, hate, and the list could go on forever and ever. Through it all His love held steadfast towards sinners while He faithfully preached the Kingdom to them, healed them, fed them, and fought to free them from slavery to religious hypocrites. He became a servant of man to such an extent that He even washed the feet of the friends who would abandon Him at His impending death. And finally, dear friends, the hate that we had for Him lead to the place where He willingly laid down His life for us and took upon Himself the punishment we deserve.
Jesus looking out saw them
Hurling insults and stones
Crying out “Crucify Him!”
Forsaking Him all to His own.
Jesus looking out crying
“Father forgive them please!
They don’t know what they are doing
For this crime too I will bleed.”
Jesus looking out dying
Bearing God’s wrath and all man’s strife
And here I can picture Him saying
“The good shepherd lays down his life
For the sheep…No one takes it from me
For them I will lay it down willingly.” (John 10:11,18)
Are you beside yourself in amazement? Dear friend, you should be. This truth seems to me so great that our body of flesh cannot even bare the glory of it. I feel that if this earth were shot through with the blazing glory of this truth, the universe as we know it would collapse under its greatness. So awesome is Jesus Christ.