Useful Bible Studies > Philippians Commentary > chapter 2

Christ’s humble life and death

Philippians 2:8

Christ is God the Son. Since before the beginning of the world, he had the place of greatest honour in heaven. However, he chose humbly to obey what God the Father wanted (John 3:16). He left his place in heaven and he was born into our world.

On earth, people saw that he truly was like any other person. Like other people, his body had to grow and his mind had to learn (Luke 2:52). He knew what it means to be hot or cold, weak, tired and hungry. He worked with his hands: as a carpenter, he made objects out of wood. He was and is still God; but he had truly become a man.

Even as a man, Christ still obeyed God the Father completely. He desired to do only what God the Father wanted him to do (Mark 14:36; Hebrews 10:5-10). Christ could have prevented his own death (Matthew 26:53-54); however, he chose not to do that. Instead, he understood why it was necessary for him to die. This was God’s plan to forgive those people who put their trust in him (Hebrews 10:11-18). On the cross, Christ suffered the punishment for their evil deeds, so that they can have a right relationship with God (1 Peter 2:24).

To die on a cross was a terrible and shameful way to die (Galatians 3:13). It was the way that Rome’s soldiers punished the worst criminals (Luke 23:32). However, Christ was not a criminal – in fact, he was guilty of no wrong act that was against God’s law (1 Peter 2:22). So he did not suffer death in an angry or bitter manner, as other people often do (1 Peter 2:23; Isaiah 53:7).

So Christians can and should learn from how Christ both lived and suffered (1 Peter 2:21). They should learn gladly and willingly to obey God in everything. In every circumstance, however difficult, they should do what pleases God (1 Peter 2:20).

Next part: Jesus: the name above every name (Philippians 2:9)


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© 2020, Keith Simons.