Philippians 2:8 - And being found in human form, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
I remember when I was little watching the wicked queen go up to the magic mirror and say, "Mirror, mirror on the wall, who's the fairest of them all?" The queen was shocked and enraged when she found out she had been demoted to second place. The rest of the movie traces the queen's plots to get rid of Snow White and reclaim her position of first-place position of beauty.
"Mirror, mirror on the wall, who's the fairest of them all?" Almost anyone remembers those lines.
Somehow, someway, those words seem to hit home, seem to reflect a little bit, a dark little bit of the pride which lurks within all of us. You see, most of us would like to think we are the fairest or the smartest or the gentlest or the kindest of them all. Most of us would love to have our mirror converse with us and give us some kind of confirmation that we are the best at something.
"Mirror, mirror on the wall, who makes the best oatmeal raisin cookies of all?" Please don't deny it: we are, in a humble sort of way, proud as peacocks. If nobody were around eavesdropping, we'd be pleasantly pleased to have the mirror reply, "You have the most beautiful eyes" ... "the firmest abs" ... "the best head of hair" ... "the nicest Halloween decorations of anyone in your neighborhood." In something, anything -- we'd like to be the fairest of them all.
Now I know humble people like you and me would never publicly admit to such desires, but I think I'm right. Observe a young child and you will see, beyond any shadow of a doubt, he believes the world revolves around him. Even worse, he believes that is the way it should be. That beautiful baby -- that charming child -- wants what he wants, when he wants it, and no excuse is going to placate him, no explanation is going to pacify him. That is the way we all start out.
Now, I know you're going to say, "Yes, but we grow up. We change. We're not like that anymore."
Maybe. But I've talked to a lot of preschool and kindergarten teachers. They tell me when graduation time comes they find it is best to give every one of their children an award for being best at something: "Ladies and gentlemen, let's have a round of applause for Bobby who is the most improved at not using his scissors to cut the hair of the girl who sits in front of him." "Let's give it up for Amanda who has gone an entire month without socking anybody in the nose."
"Mirror, mirror on the wall, who's the fairest of them all?" Exactly when do we grow out of our pride? The World Series, Wimbledon, the Olympics, the Stanley Cup, the Indy 500, the Super Bowl, the Masters, and a host of others tell us who is the fairest athlete of them all.
"Mirror, Mirror ..." Miss World, Miss Universe, Miss Earth, Miss International, Miss Tourism Queen International, American Junior Miss, and a host of other contests tell us who are the fairest of them all. Remember, every year People magazine publishes the list of the fairest men of them all.
In contrast to us, we have the Savior. Isaiah, by the Spirit's direction wrote, " For He grew up before Him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; He had no form or majesty that we should look at Him, and no beauty that we should desire Him. He was despised and rejected by men; a Man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces He was despised, and we esteemed Him not" (Isaiah 53:2-3).
Look at that list: no form, no majesty, no beauty, and undesirable. Jesus found Himself despised, rejected, living a life of sorrow, grief, and without respect.
Isaiah described Jesus' life; Paul spoke about the death of our Savior. Jesus humbled Himself up to and including His death on the cross.
Because Jesus was who He was, because Jesus did what He did -- we have been rescued and redeemed, which explains why our hearts, in gratitude, say, "He is the fairest of them all."
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, it is impossible for me to understand why Jesus would leave heaven and humble Himself to die for me on His cross. Even though I may not understand, may I still be eternally grateful for His sacrifice. In His Name I pray. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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