Christ leads the way in showing us how central humility is in God’s plan for us. First, he showed his humility in Heaven. Phil 2:6
“who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped”. Rather, Christ viewed his equality with God as qualifying him for his humble descent to save his people. Christ did not “grasp the equality with God” that he had. What are we as humans inclined to “grasp”? Too many things to count. How about our smart phones, our educational pedigrees, our bank accounts, our right to pleasure, our right to the finer things of life. We should be so grateful that Christ did not do any “grasping” of his equality with God.
Second, we see Christ’s humility in his incarnation. Phil 2:7 “but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men”. Jesus fully identified with the human race and donned a towel as he took on the appearance and being of a slave.
And, third, there was Christ’s humility in death. Phil 2:8 “And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross”. Nothing could be lower. Christ became a shame and scandal for us! And it was all his own doing. No one humbled him! Herod did not humble him. Pilate did not humble him. The high priest did not humble him. The Romans did not humble him. Jesus “humbled himself.” The humblest man who ever lived is Christ himself, the God-man. No other man or woman has even come close! Christ’s self-humiliation was followed by his grand exaltation by God the Father. So the down, down, down of Christ’s humiliation is followed by his soaring exaltation.
To get the feel of this, picture the gears of a catapult being ratcheted down ever tighter with the three movements of his self-humiliation, so that the final groaning click of the gears creates an explosive tension, and then the gear is tripped, launching indescribable exaltation. The exaltation that Christ now enjoys stretches our understanding as it is expressed in Phil 2:9 “Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed upon him the name that is above every name.” Super-exaltation. This is the ultimate illustration of Jesus’ own axiom, delivered to those full of religious pride, Matthew 23:11,12 “The greatest among you shall be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted”. In keeping with God’s own spiritual law, Jesus’ self humiliation brought about his supreme exaltation.