Thursday, March 24, 2011

March 24, 2011 … Jesus’ Humility In Death

Passage of the Day: Philippians 2: 8 - ... And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to death — even death on a cross!

My Journal for Today: My entry today will be brief … very much to the point. As I read today’s passage, I’m led to reflect on Mel Gibson’s account of Christ’s Passion in the movie he directed, attempting to give us some degree of insight into those hours on the day of Christ’s death on the cross. Though I’m sure it was even worse than Gibson portrayed it, that movie drove home – at least for me - the horrible humiliation to which Jesus exposed Himself, being led unjustly by man, but purposely by God, the Father, to the cruelest form of execution ever devised by mankind – the Roman form of crucifixion. It was God’s Lamb being led to the slaughter as a sacrificial offering for the sins of mankind; and it was my sin [and yours] which nailed our Lord to that cross.

What our Lord, Jesus Christ, endured – unjustly – should be the ultimate eye-opener for all believers when it comes to the essence of what humility is all about and what our Messiah endured, as the suffering servant, the “man of many sorrows,” which had been prophesied in Is. 52: 13-14 and all of Isaiah 53 … [Please go, with the links provided, and read these citations!].

Just a few years ago about this time, we were memorializing my earthly father, Bob Berry, at his funeral. In the latter months of his life, my Dad suffered much physical – and likely emotional – agony. Yet, as many came by at the funeral to express their condolences to my sister, myself, and the rest of the family, they commented on how our father held on to an attitude of grace right to the end in spite of the myriad of physical ailments he had endured in the last two years of his life. And that attitude was stamped indelibly for me some years before (in 1988 to be exact) when at 72 years of age, my Dad prayed to receive Christ as his Savior/Lord. Up to that time, my father had been a very self-centered man, often feeling sorry for himself, given life’s circumstances, which had been rough for him. But after Christ came into his life, his Christ-like humility was displayed readily – especially in those latter years when physical maladies drove him to reside in a nursing home. With all he went through, my Dad held to the hope of 1st Cor. 15: 37 – 54 [also linked here for your meditation] … that one day he would have a new body and be lifted up by His Lord to glory. We talked of it often as I visited my dad in that nursing home; and my earthly father became a living and dying example for me of God’s grace being poured into his soul by the humility with which my father lived out in his later life.

Those are models of humility I will always have in my life … first my Lord, as today’s verse declares, who humbly died for my sins … and then my earthly father, who humbly dealt with so many physical maladies with grace and dignity in the face of so much personal humility. I’m blessed to have been shown the way to humility with such vivid examples so that I may see and live it in my own life.

My Prayer Today: Lord, may I always walk in Your shoes when it comes to humility. Amen

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