Philippians 2:5-11 (ESV)
5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
How appropriate that this is the reading for Maundy Thursday, the day Jesus shared the Last Supper with his disciples knowing what lay ahead of him. Jesus gives us a model of servanthood by washing the disciples feet just before the Passover meal. The washing of feet was done only by the lowest servant who washed away the grime of the city streets from a guest’s feet.
But Jesus is not just setting an example of servanthood and humility: this act signifies the washing away of sins through his upcoming death on the cross. As we celebrate this day that communion was instituted, let us be reminded that Jesus gave up his position in Heaven beside God, emptied himself and became a servant to all mankind through his willingness to die on the cross so that we might be saved.
That indeed is something to be grasped! Oh how we look forward to the day when every knee will bow to Jesus not only on earth, but also in Heaven and under the earth; and when every tongue will declare that Jesus Christ is Lord of all!
Father in heaven,
your son humbled himself by leaving his heavenly throne to take on our human nature and to become a servant to all through his death on the cross. Help us to remember the example Jesus set for us his last night on earth that even though he was God in flesh, he was willing to serve. Help us as Jesus’ followers to be servants and willing to serve in ways that will glorify our Father God and point people to the Lord of all. Amen