“Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” — John 7:38
Emptied … that We May Be Filled
by Randall D. Kittle
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“Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who … emptied Himself”

— Philippians 2:5–7

While I was praying, I saw an empty, glass, soda bottle. Written on the label was the phrase, “No Deposit, No Return.” Next, I saw a bottle that was full of pop. On its label it said, “Deposit Required.” This bottle was then emptied of its content. Once the last drop had been poured out and it was completely emptied, I saw crates of empty bottles going into a factory. The bottles were put on a conveyor belt to be cleaned, sterilized, refilled, and then sealed. As far as the eye could see, there were empty and discarded bottles that were now being restored and refilled to be what they had been originally.
This is a picture of what Jesus has done for us with the finished work of the Cross. He has made a way for our lives — once distant and separated from God — to be completely “recycled.” We have been redeemed, restored, remade, renewed, revived, and refilled. According to Ephesians 1:13, this new life has been “sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise” in our lives.

Deposit Required?
But all this (and more) is only possible because Jesus made an infinite deposit on our behalf. With no deposit, there would have been no return; no way for us to have our relationship with our loving Heavenly Father restored. Because of sin, a deposit was required. Jesus came to earth and made this deposit on our behalf. He paid the price necessary for our redemption. It tells us this in Revelation 5:9 when it says that by His blood Jesus purchased men for God.

To make this deposit on our behalf, Jesus had to empty Himself. In the second chapter of Philippians, it tells us that Jesus emptied Himself. “Emptied” here means,
“to become of no reputation, to be as nothing, to be stripped of all privileges and dignity.” The Lord saw how sin had emptied mankind and made us so much less than He created us to be. Grieved and longing for the relationship He created to have with us, God took extreme measures to restore us. Jesus willingly emptied Himself of His glory, His majesty, and eventually even His very life. He became emptied that we could be filled.

The Great Exchange?
This is part of the great exchange provided for every true believer. Salvation means so much more than just our sins being forgiven. Jesus became sin so that we might have His righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21). He became poor that we might be rich (2 Corinthians 8:9). The Lord died that we might live forever. He became forsaken that we could be found accepted. And, Galatians 3:13 tells us that, “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us.”

On the cross, Jesus took the entire penalty for the curses that our lives justly deserved. Because of this, we have been redeemed, which means
“bought back; freed from what distresses or harms; reformed, repaired, restored; or have the obligation of by payment removed.” What comes to mind when you hear the word “redeem”? One childhood memory that immediately comes to my mind is the old soda bottles that I would return to the store for a nickel. These bottles were then reused, recycled, and refilled again. This, and so much more, is what the Lord will do for each of us if we ask in faith, for He was emptied so that we may be filled!


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