He put on Skin

"He didn't claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that—a crucifixion." (A portion of Philippians 2:5-8 from "The Message" by Eugene H. Peterson)

Jesus went from the highest place in the universe, in Heaven, to the lowest place on earth, the grave. He let go of his status and privileges as God and put on skin. Human skin. He became a man, lived as a servant, was executed like a criminal on a cross, and buried in a tomb like any other man would be. Our God was buried! For us!

Jesus climbed down the ladder of status, privilege, and success in this world to purchase freedom for us from sin, punishment, and death.

Which way are you climbing in society, in your relationships with others?

In your relationships with one another, have the same attitude of mind Christ Jesus had:

Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.

And being found in appearance as a human being, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!

Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:5-11)

028 | Greatest Preview Ever Produced


I am on a journey through the Bible. A journey focused on a single question. Who exactly is Jesus? I mean who is he really? I am questioning some of my perceptions of who I think Jesus is. I have definitely been carrying around misconceptions. The purpose of this journey is to put my current understanding of who he is under the microscope of the Word of God. For me this journey has been and is a time to reexamine what the Bible says about Jesus. To reexamine his life, his actions, his words as recorded in the scriptures.

So far the biggest thing that has struck me as I have been on this journey is that the Old testament is the Greatest Preview ever produced of the Greatest Story ever told: the account of Jesus Christ. ... the Gospel ... the Good News.

Nearly 2,800 years ago a man named Isaiah lived. He was known as a prophet. He lived on this earth over 700 years before Jesus was even born, yet he describes Jesus perfectly. How is this possible? It is possible because Isaiah was just passing on the words and facts given to him. God was communicating to his people through Isaiah. In chapter 42 of the book of Isaiah we read in part what God was telling his people during this time.
"Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will bring justice to the nations. He will not shout or cry out, or raise his voice in the streets. A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out. In faithfulness he will bring forth justice; he will not falter or be discouraged till he establishes justice on earth. In his teaching the islands will put their hope." (Isaiah 42:1-4)
Sometimes I find it helpful when I am studying a passage from the Bible to just simply spell out the facts. Here is what I learned about Christ from this passage in the book of Isaiah in the Old Testament. I have included related verses from the New Testament in parenthesis. Just mouse over them to read the verse in a quick pop up or click to read with the larger context of the passage.
  • Jesus is a servant. (Philippians 2:7)
  • He is the Chosen One of God. (Matthew 12:18)
  • God the Father is greatly pleased with him. (Matthew 12:18)
  • The Spirit of God is on him. (Matthew 12:18)
  • He brings justice to this world. (Romans 3:25-26)
  • He is gentle and tender to those who are weak, oppressed, and just trying to hang on. (Matthew 5:1-4)
  • He will not give up until justice is established on earth. (Acts 17:30-31)
  • His teachings will bring hope to people all over the world. (Matthew 12:21)
Just remember these facts among many others were given to a group of people living 700 years before Jesus was born. A few verses later the Lord says this.
See, the former things have taken place, and new things I declare; before they spring into being I announce them to you." (Isaiah 42:9)
God gave so much detail about Jesus, the Messiah, many many years before he came to earth. This is just a small portion of the detail we can learn about Jesus written in the scriptures long before he actually came into this world. As I have said before I have been journaling through the book titled The Essential Jesus: 100 Readings Through the Bible's Greatest Story written by Whitney T. Kuniholm. In reading the passages Kuniholm has outlined in this book I have been amazed at the quantity and level of detail concerning the Messiah and how it describes Jesus perfectly. I am on the 28th passage of the 100 and there are two more from the Old Testament scriptures that further describe Jesus. After that the next 70 passages will be from the New Testament. Thirty passages of words spoken and written down about a coming Messiah a very long time before Jesus was born. Thirty passages that have given me a great preview of who Jesus is. I very much look forward to continuing this essential journey into the New Testament.

| More on the Essential Jesus journey. |

Photo credit: The photo in this post is titled "Isaiah". It was uploaded to flickr.com by mikeyphotog on May 29 2008 with this caption. "A rabbi examines the portions of the Dead Sea Scrolls that make up the Book of Isaiah. At the Israel Museum."

Upside-down Christmas

Stressmas Impersonalmas Checklistmas Consumermas Trafficjamas Gota-buy-everyone-a-gift-even-if-they-don't-want-it-mas

Rethinking Christmas

"The story of Christ's birth is a subversive story of an upside-down kingdom. It's a story of promise, hope, and a revolutionary love that is still changing the world to this day. So, what happened? What was once a time to celebrate the birth of a savior has somehow turned into a season of stress, traffic jams, and shopping lists. And when it's all over, many of us are left with presents to return, looming debt that will take months to pay off, and this empty feeling that we somehow missed its purpose.

Is this what we really want out of Christmas?

What if Christmas became a world-changing event again by turning our focus back to the birth of Christ? What could happen to your family if this focus was celebrated in loud, bold and totally unexpected ways? What if you could actually trade your season of stress for a season celebration and unbelievable memories with your friends and family? What if all of this could save a life at the same time? It can." | Advent Conspiracy

Join me in rethinking Christmas and consider passing this message on via email (Save & Share) or if you have a blog please consider re-bloging this article.


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