The Humiliation of God

I love listening to Ray Ortlund Jr. If you’ve never heard the man preach, you are missing out on one of the most Christ-exalting, joyfully serious preachers alive. He frequently quotes songs or poems in his sermons, but in his most recent sermon, entitled “The Humility of God” on John 1:1, 14, he quoted something that was particularly moving.

Below are the lyrics to a song “Lower Still” by a band called My Epic. The musical style of the band is most certainly not my thing, but these are profound words on the humility of Christ in His incarnation. Read the words slowly. Let the weight of them land as you ponder how far Christ came down from His heavenly throne to redeem His Church. Let it lead you to a deeper sense of worship this Christmas season.

Look, he’s covered in dirt
The blood of his mother has mixed with the Earth
and she’s just a child who’s throbbing in pain
from the terror of birth by the light of a cave

Now they’ve laid that small baby
where creatures come eat
like a meal for the swine who have no clue that he
is still holding together the world that they see
they don’t know just how low he has to go
Lower still

Look now he’s kneeling he’s washin’ their feet
though they’re all filthy fishermen, traitors and thieves
now he’s pouring his heart out and they’re fallin’ asleep
but he has to go lower still

There is greater love to show
hands to the plow
further down now
blood must flow

All these steps are personal 
all his shame is ransom
oh do you see, do you see just how low, he has come
do you see it now?
no one takes from him
what he freely gives away

beat in his face
tear the skin off his back
Lower still, lower still
strip off his clothes
make him crawl through the streets
Lower still, lower still
hang him like meat
on a criminal’s tree
Lower still, lower still
bury his corpse in the Earth 
like a seed, like a seed, like a seed
Lower still, lower still

Lower still, lower still…

The Earth explodes
she cannot hold him!
And all therein is placed beneath Him
and death itself no longer reigns
it cannot keep the ones he gave himself to save
and as the universe shatters the darkness disolves
he alone will be honored
we will bathe in his splendor
as all heads bow lower still
all heads bow lower still

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