In this sermon for Palm Sunday, we look at the Greek word, kenosis, and what Christ’s self-emptying means for us today.
Do you struggle with words?
Do you ever struggle with your words? Especially big words?
Palm Sunday and Kenosis
Then the crowd that went ahead and the others that came behind raised the shout: ‘Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessings on him who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the heavens!’Matthew 21:9 NEB
Palm Sunday is not a difficult story to understand. But today I want to introduce a difficult word: the Greek word kenosis.
Christ humbled himself
He had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what.Philippians 2:6 The Message
but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form,Philippians 2:7 NRSV
Bearing the human likeness, revealed in human shape, he humbled himself, and in obedience accepted even death—death on a cross.Philippians 2:8 NEB
And now there appeared to him an angel from heaven bringing him strength, and in anguish of spirit he prayed the more urgently; and his sweat was like clots of blood falling to the ground.Luke 22:43–44 NEB
‘Father, if it be thy will, take this cup away from me. Yet not my will but thine be done.’Luke 22:42 NEB
What was accomplished by kenosis?
Therefore God raised him to the heights and bestowed on him the name above all names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow—in heaven, on earth, and in the depths—and every tongue confess, ‘Jesus Christ is Lord’, to the glory of God the Father.Philippians 2:9–11 NEB
Put Others First
There must be no room for rivalry and personal vanity among you, but you must humbly reckon others better than yourselves. Look to each other’s interest and not merely to your own.Philippians 2:3–4 NEB
Do all you have to do without complaint or wrangling. Show yourselves guileless and above reproach, faultless children of God in a warped and crooked generation, in which you shine like stars in a dark world and proffer the word of life.Philippians 2:14–15 NEB
If you insist on saving your life, you will lose it. Only those who throw away their lives for my sake and for the sake of the Good News will ever know what it means to really live.Mark 8:35 The Living Bible
For whoever exalts himself will be humbled; and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.Matthew 23:12 NEB
Unfortunately, due to a technical error, this episode did not record live. This recording was added at a later date in “studio conditions”.
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