At the Lutheran grade school that I attended as a child, there were times of the year when each class would get to participate in chapel. When I was in second grade, I was called upon to read 1 Peter 5:6-7:
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.
My second grade mind read it and thought, “This verse is so cool!” even though I had no idea what it meant. I wrote down the page number in my Bible, in red crayon (my favorite color at the time) and saved it for another time.
Fast forward to 8th grade confirmation when we were picking out our verses and…it stuck. I barely remembered the verse until I remembered writing down the page, still in red crayon. Picked it up and when asked about it, I explained that it wasn’t fun to humble ourselves before God, but He knows better than me and takes care of us.
I don’t like favorite verses, but this is my confirmation verse and one I expect to at least be referenced by the pastor when I drop dead. In death, all are made equal. Rich or poor, slave or free, all die… and yet because of what Christ has done on the cross for me, I will be lifted up on that last day. It is why now, as we walk in this life, it is right for us to humble ourselves before our Lord, trusting His Word and promises. Humbling myself doesn’t mean knocking myself down. That’s a twisted form of pride. Humility is looking to the needs of others before your own, being more willing to listen and trust God than trying to push ahead in our own ways thinking we know better than God. To be honest and confess our own weakness, to realize that we are sinners in need of God’s grace and to put our trust in Him for forgiveness, life, and salvation.
To summarize it, it looks like Jesus. He is the one to whom all things bow, it is with Him and through Him that all things were made, He is God who took on our flesh, and He humbles Himself to be the one to go to the cross for us. There, He took our lowly place, dying the death that we deserved, and raised us from the depths of our sin. Humility and love like His had never been so clearly shown that He laid down His life for us.
And now He, who willing did all of this for us, has risen from the dead and stands exalt at the right hand of the Father. He is coming again in glory, to judge the living and the dead in His Kingdom that has no end. Thanks be to God that on the last day, my humiliation will turn to glorification when I am brought before the Lord forever. Redeemed, restored, forgiven we will be, dwelling before the Lord in His Kingdom.