The use of the Greek word knenóo in Philippians 2:7 is of great theological importance. It refers to Jesus Christ emptying Himself at the time of His incarnation, denoting the beginning of His self-humiliation of “being found in fashion of a man” (Phil. 2:8a).
This can be explained in Christ taking the “form of a servant” and “was made in the likeness of man.” Imagine if you were asked to relinquish something beautiful for something quite undesirable. Christ, though remaining equal with God, made this sacrifice willingly.
His love overflowed for mankind in becoming this “servant” and giving His life. As Romans 5:7 states “scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.”
Christ paid the price knowing our sinful state. Though His earthly peers gave Him no good reputation, for the believer, His sacrifice makes Him our heavenly king. —Spiros Zodhiates