When Queen Elizabeth II visited the United States, she came in majestic fashion. She brought 4000 pounds of luggage, including two outfits for every occasion, a mourning outfit in case someone died, forty pints of blood plasma, and white kid-leather toilet-seat covers. She also brought her own hairdresser, two valets, and many other attendants. The price tag for the trip exceeded 20 million dollars.
Contrast this with Jesus’ entry into the world:
Though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross (Philippians 2:6–8 ESV).
In Jesus we find an amazing blend of holiness and humbleness, of glory and grace. Angels announce his birth, yet he lies in a manger. Throughout his earthly ministry, he rebukes the boastful but welcomes the broken.
We deepen our understanding of our Lord’s humble majesty as we study the names given to him. He is the Lamb of God, and also the Good Shepherd, who lays down his life for the sheep. He is King of kings, and yet a lowly Servant, who washes the feet of sinners.
Before such humble majesty, the Psalmist urges us to “rejoice with trembling” (Psalm 2:11 ESV). Who is like the God who became flesh so he could dwell among us? Is it any wonder that Psalm 95 invites us to “make a joyful noise,” but a few short verses later, invites us to bow low, yes, even to “kneel before the LORD, our Maker” (Psalm 95:6 ESV).
We respond to Christ’s humble majesty in all these ways. Yet, our worship can become stale, perhaps even boring, if we lose the tension between his amazing humility and his awe-inspiring majesty. True worship requires that we maintain a balance between abounding joy and humble reverence.
“Come, let us worship and bow down” (Psalm 95:6 ESV)! Majesty is in our midst. His gentleness has made us great! (See Psalm 18:35.)
Prayer starter: Lord Jesus, you are my brother and yet you are, from all eternity, the King of kings. I rejoice and tremble in your presence today . . .
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