There was a death before there was a resurrection.
Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2.5-11
Paul teaches the saints at Philippi about the humility of Christ. A timeless exhortation to all of us who follow Christ. God does not celebrate Christ’s power; He celebrates His humility. Humility was necessary for Christ to submit to the will of the Father, to submit to human authority, and eventually the cross.
He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed… He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. Isaiah 53
Doesn’t sound like greatness, does it? Yet, Christ’s percived weakness and ultimate sacrifice is what makes Him so beautiful. When we strive for greatness, are we following Christ? We boast about our greatness, but God boasts about and exalts the humble. Let us be careful about looking at the rest of the world through our lenses of personal or community greatness.
Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Philippians 2.3