A message exploring the true aim of life, no less, following Christ’s example in Philippians 2:5-11 (Palm Sunday, Years A, B or C).
Today is Palm/Passion Sunday. We have had five Sundays in Lent and now we turn to Christ’s final week before Easter. Philippians 2:5-11 is not from that time/place, but it captures the essence of it.
Christ’s Example Then…
Paul is writing to a church that is doing good things, partners “in the gospel from the first day until now”. Yet they are in enemy territory – a strongly Greek/Roman city (pagan). Paul:
- Urges the church to be of one mind, united in humility, working to complete their salvation as pure children of Christ “shining like stars in the universe” (v15), to ‘run the race’ if you will, so that his own efforts might not be for nothing.
- Says “…Christ Jesus…did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing”
- Describes how Jesus is humbled (vv6-8) then exalted (vv9-11).
… And it’s Opposite Today
The context for us today is just the same. You are good people, better than the Philippians, even! You’ve run the race of life, stuck with God and the gospel, you still shine like stars in the universe!
We, too, live in enemy territory, where things that are not god are worshipped:
- Individualism – it’s all about me and MY needs, MY feelings;
- Consumerism – I am valued because I have $$; and
- Materialism – ‘he who dies with the most toys wins’.
These three things work in an endless, aimless cycle, until we die.
We don’t have to reject the things of the world, just not worship them.
We have them AND the true, living God, who is alive in us. Our aim is to be humble like Jesus, because we have a job to do alongside Him, and then we will be exalted with Christ.