“Christ Jesus; who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” Php_2:6-8
There could have been no restoration and no satisfaction to law and justice, but in the humiliation of the Son of God. The very necessity of the case demanded it. The Divine government had been dishonored-that dishonor could only be removed by the humiliation of one equal in dignity, holiness, and glory-even an infinite Being. The humiliation of every angel in heaven would not have effaced a single stain of its reproach, nor have restored a single beam of its glory. The law of God had been humbled-justice demanded, as a price of its reparation, the humiliation of the Lawgiver Himself. The incarnate God did humble Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Thus it was Jesus “restored that which He took not away.” He restored holiness to the law-satisfaction to justice-dignity to the Divine government-honor to God, and happiness and immortality to man. “Then I restored that which I took not away.” Oh, what stable foundation is thus laid for the full salvation of every believer.
The humiliation of the Redeemer opens a fountain of infinitely great and ever-glorious grace. Nothing could we have known of the glory of His person, nothing of the character of God, and all the things of His hidden love must have remained forever sealed, had He not so humbled Himself. His coming forth, invested not with the dazzling robes of His infinite Majesty, but wearing our degraded nature, descending to our state of deep abasement-yes, sinking infinitely deeper than we-throws open a treasury of grace as rich in its glory, and ample in its supply, as were the dark humiliation and deep poverty which made it ours. Here is glory springing from His abasement-it is the “glory of His grace;” “We beheld His glory, full of grace.” This fullness of grace in Jesus includes all that a poor sinner needs, all that a necessitous believer requires, all that the glory of God demanded. Here is the grace of pardon in all its fullness-the grace of justification in all its fullness-the grace of sanctification in all its fullness-the grace of consolation in all its fullness-the grace of strength in all its fullness. “It pleased the Father, that in Him should all fullness dwell.” Grace is poured into His lips, and gracious words proceed from His lips. Hearken! “Come unto me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Hearken again! “Him that comes unto me, I will in no wise cast out.” Does He not bind up the broken heart? Does He not preach glad tidings to the meek? Does He not “satisfy the hungry soul, and satiate the weary soul with goodness”? Has He ever sent the poor empty away? Was He ever known to turn His back upon one humble comer drawing near, bowed with guilt, disconsolate with sorrow, oppressed with trial? Never! never! Oh, it is with infinite delight-delight, the depth of which we can form no conception-that He welcomes poor sinners. He thinks of His own humiliation for sin-He remembers His own sorrows and tears, agonies and death, and throwing Himself, as it were, into the very center of a bosom storm-tossed with godly grief, He seeks to soothe and hush it to a calm. And how does He allay the tempest? He pours the oil of His own love upon the waves; He sprinkles the conscience with that blood which cleanses from all sin, and bids the soul go in peace. Dear reader, where least we should have expected it, Jesus is set before us the “door of hope,” even in the deep valley of His humiliation. “I will give the valley of Achor for a door of hope.” The gospel of this precious promise is found in the wondrous theme we are now contemplating-the humiliation of the incarnate God. To that humiliation we must sink; into that valley we must descend. Convinced of sin-separated from all self-reliance and creature trust-emptied, humbled, laid low in the dust before God, we shall then find Jesus to be the “door of hope” set open for us in the deep and dark valley of our poverty, hopelessness, vileness, and abasement. Just the Door we need, is Jesus. A door to a Father’s forgiving heart, a door to God’s reconciled love; a door to the sweetest, closest, holiest fellowship and communion; a door into heaven itself; a door so wide, that the greatest sinner may enter-so free, that the penniless may come.