December 22, 2017 | Giving Up His Lane

“Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God
as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges;
he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God
and died a criminal’s death on a cross.”
[Genesis 3:4-6 NLT]
Itty bitty living space
I taught recently on the counter-intuitive way that Jesus’ acceptance of limitations fosters Christian security. We can rest securely in Messiah precisely because of Jesus’ embrace of human limitations.
Jesus was and is fully human. For His sojourn on earth, God the Son emptied Himself of His divine privileges. That means that one with the full power and authority of God chose to limit Himself to a little human body. As Robin William’s genie declared in Alladin, that’s “phenomenal cosmic power; itty bitty living space.” And that self-surrender changes everything for all of us on this road of life with Him.
Giving up His lane
Last week I was driving down Eldorado, one of the main east-west thoroughfares in our town. I was in the middle lane and eventually needed to get over to turn left. About a mile before my turn, I clicked the left turn indicator. I was driving right at (or possibly a tick above) the speed limit. But the minute I turned on that blinker, the car 30 feet back in the left lane sped up.
The lady got going at least 10 mph over the limit, just to cut me off. So did the woman behind the first car and the man in the vehicle behind her. Three cars sped up to ensure that I could not limit their progress. Finally, the fourth driver stayed the speed limit and I was able to safely merge. After experiencing the others, I didn’t trust her at first; but she waved, and I moved in.
Now, which of those drivers best resembles Jesus? Right. The one who gave up privilege to make room. Which driver are you? Oh, that’s much too convicting! Forget that…
Let’s instead talk about Jesus. Philippians 2 says that God the Son’s self-emptying is ultimately seen in the cross. Talking about accepting limits! He let Himself be literally nailed in place! He did so because through the cross Jesus paid for our sins. That’s how He made a way for those who trust Him to merge into the family of God.
And that – Jesus’ self-emptying – is the foundation of our security. Jesus acceptance of insecurity, inconvenience, and limitations allows those who trust Him to live securely in His resurrection life.
The Charlie Brown illustration
One of the most popular short films of all time is A Charlie Brown Christmas. It depicts brilliantly how Jesus acceptance of insecurity fosters our security. Two years ago, Jason Soroski wrote two brilliant, brief columns on this and I highly recommend them: