Came down from heaven
One of the most beautiful lines in a hymn that I can get lost in is the hymn, ‘The Church’s One Foundation,’ by Samuel Stone (1839-1900). The line is, “From heaven, he came and sought her.” The Westminster Divines call this Christ’s humiliation. Christ, the Son of God, coming down to our level. He became a man, the creator of all things, stepped into creation. We often think of Christ’s death and resurrection, possibly his ascension, maybe his birth. But rarely do we stop and think about what Christ gave up coming down from heaven. We live in the world, and we know it is not a perfect place, but we can still see the master stokes of God throughout creation. We can see the colors in the sky as the earth rotates, turning away from the sun. We think about heaven and the hope of heaven we have as believers. We think about no more sickness, pain, suffering, or tears. We are excited to say goodbye to sin, sorrow, and sadness. Yet Christ left that to come to earth.
Paul writes in Philippians that Christ, “Christ emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men” (Phil 2:7). He came down from heaven, coming to earth; sin is rampant, where the sorrow is prevalent and where sadness is frequent. As he walked the streets around Capernaum to Jerusalem or the sea of Galilee, He surrounded by sinners and sin, eating with tax collectors, prostitutes, and pride-filled religious leaders. Christ, the eternal Son of God, was abruptly confronted with sickness and diseases; the blind, lame, and leapers. He spoke with sisters who lost their brothers and fathers who had lost their daughters.
We look forward to the hope of heaven because Christ came down from heaven.
Our sense of humility is often pride driven humility. We humble ourselves to look useful to others or get something in return. We act humble for a time, then are happy to tick humility off our to do for the day. We might post pictures of helping someone on social media to show our friends of our great humility. However, Christ left heaven to come to the earth. He came down from heaven to give up his life. To die a shameful death on the cross, so that the shame-filled sinners might be able to go from earth to heaven.