August 2021 | Resurrection Hope

He Made Himself Nothing
1
1

He Made Himself Nothing

Dr. John K. Mathew

Late in the fifteenth century, two young wood carving apprentices in France confided to each other their desire to study painting. But this plan would take money, and both Hans and Albrecht were poor.

Finally, though they had a solution. One would work and earn money while the other studied. Then when the lucky one become rich and famous, he in turn could help the other. They tossed a coin and Albercht won.

So while Albercht went to Venice, Hans worked as a blacksmith. As quickly as he received his wages, he forwarded money to his friend.The months stretched out into years - and at last Albercht returned to his native land, an independent master. Now it was his turn to help Hans. The two men met in joyous reunion, but when Albrecht looked at his friend, tears welled in his eyes. Only then did he discover the extent of Hans’s sacrifice. The many years of heavy labor in the blacksmith’s shop had calloused and bruised Hans’s sensitive hands.

His fingers could never handle a painter’s brush. In humble gratitude to Hans for his years of sacrifice, the artist, the great Albert Durer, painted a portrait of the work worn hands that had labored so faithfully just so that he might develop his talents. He presented this praying hands to his devoted friend.

Today, this masterpiece, a symbol of friendship and sacrifice, is familiar to millions of people throughout the world. This is a best example of human sacrifice. Sacrifice played a central role in many ancient religions. Throughout history sacrificial offerings have consisted of various animals, fruits, flowers, vegetables, and even human beings. 

The Aztecs, for example, offered as many as twenty thousand human sacrifices each year to their sun god. The Greeks sacrificed animals such as goats or cattle, sometimes eating the sacrifice in a ‘celebratory meal’ in honor of their gods. Long ago the Chinese practiced human sacrifice and also offered animals and food to their gods and ancestors.

Since all religions practice and promote sacrifice what is the uniqueness of Christianity? What makes Christianity different?

The difference lies in the fact that in all other religions, man made sacrifices to please his gods, here God made the great sacrifice of sending His Son to die for a sinful world. John records this, ‘For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life’. 

A greater sacrifice can be seen in Jesus’ willingness to obey his Father’s will. In the words of Apostle Paul, ‘Christ Jesus, who being in very nature of God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death, even death on a cross. 

If Jesus Christ be God and died for me, then no sacrifice is great than this.

Other Articles from same author

Abundant Life

A boy asked his mother.Mom, at what age do people die?The mother said, go to a nearby cemetery, read...Read More

Dual Citizen

The phrases 'Kingdom of Heaven' and 'Kingdom of God' are found more than eighty times in the New Tes...Read More

HOW TO PRAY

An important lesson that the Lord’s prayer teaches us is the complete submission of the one who pr...Read More

“TETELESTAI”

Traditionally, a dying person’s words are taken seriously. This is certainly true in the case of J...Read More

FESTIVALS

Three times a year all males in Israel were required to appear before God; at the feast of Passover,...Read More

Who Will Go?

In John chapter 4, we see our Lord Jesus Christ ministers to a variety of people.The sinful Samarita...Read More

The Grace of God

Auschwitz is a terrible place.The worst of the Nazi death camps, where more than a million people lo...Read More

Be Compassionate

In the famous story of the Good Samaritan, Jesus talks about how a priest and a Levite ignore the di...Read More

The Lone Star

It is easy for us to define history as, "History is the record of what man thought, said and done". ...Read More

The Rest Follows

"Everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way". (1 Cor:14:40)This is Apostle Paul's conclu...Read More

"Ecclesia"

Scripture indicates that the universal church was born on the Day of Pentecost. Many theologians bel...Read More

Freedom

One of the greatest motivating factors for people throughout the world today is the quest for freedo...Read More

WITNESS

A few years ago I was involved in a car accident. A car that came from the opposite direction h...Read More

Grow Up to Him

We live in a time when people attain physical maturity at an early age. A recent study reveals ...Read More

Jehovah Rapha

A number of names for God are found in the scriptures, for no one name, or even multiplicity of name...Read More

Ethnocentrism

"An ethnic group or ethnicity is a popular group whose members identify with each other on the basis...Read More

Let Us Shine

The Romans had a practice of lighting up their tombs. In several instances, gigantic candles or...Read More

I Like Christmas

Unlike the Old Testament, which describes and mandates the observation of a number of religious fest...Read More

Be Still

2020 was a year of great expectation:The whole world thought 2020 would mark a leap in human histor...Read More

ENVIRONMENT

Psalm 29 ascribes to the Lord all power and authority over nature.The Canaanites worshiped natural f...Read More

Humility

It was a Sunday. History refers to it is the Palm Sunday. Jesus Christ, the King of kings and...Read More

Divine Healing

Divine healing is a major theme in the Scriptures - an important topic in the Old Testament and the ...Read More

Renew Your Mind

According to an October 29, 1994, story from the Reuters news agency, a Chinese woman named Zhang Me...Read More

There is Hope

The "prodigal son" did not have a cell phone; and he had no access to the internet. He had not even ...Read More

Baptism

The Jews baptized Gentile converts, whereas John the Baptist baptized the Jews.His baptism was autho...Read More

Pentecostalism

Pentecost means 'fiftieth' because this feast was held fifty days after the Feast of First fruits. I...Read More

Abode of Joy

Randy Alcorn is an author who has written extensively about heaven.The introduction of his book 'Hea...Read More

Be Content

In his book 'Count It All Joy'  David Jeremiah, cites a poem that expresses the discontent so p...Read More

The Glory of God

The Gentile nations had their temples, priests, religious laws, and sacrifices, but only the nation ...Read More

Homage to a Hero

The influx of people to kumbanad during the days of the funeral of Pastor T. S. Abraham was a clear ...Read More

Commitment

John Izzo is a bestselling author who holds advanced degrees in religion and psychology. In his book...Read More

Watch and Wait

In his book,  'Man's Search for Meaning', Victor Frankl, a successor of Sigmund Freud at Vienna...Read More

Money Matters

Money is the God of this world. Some scholars think the word 'mammon' comes from an Aramaic root mea...Read More

Morality

Morality is the quality of being in accord with standards of right or good conduct or a system of id...Read More

The Rugged Cross

The trial and death of Jesus Christ revealed both the wicked heart of men and the gracious heart of ...Read More

Addiction

A man given to drink once said to a preacher, "After all, Jesus turned water into wine"! His re...Read More