30Therefore when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.
Today I’m focusing on Christ’s example on earth (http://tiny.cc/christsexample). As He finished His earthly life, so ended His example for us. We talk about Christlikeness (or we should, anyway) but sometimes I feel we only talk about how he acted as he lived, not how he died. His death was also an example for us.
1) He did not defend himself. He spoke only the simple truth. When Pilate was questioning Christ for a defense, the only response was “You would have no authority over Me, unless it had been given you from above; for this reason he who delivered Me to you has the greater sin.” Think about that. As Pilate was explaining that he held Christ’s life in his hands, Jesus told him that control and power was granted by God the Father. We need not defend ourselves from our persecutors, for He is our Rock, our Sword, our Shield. Jesus claimed that truth and rode it to the cross.
2) His heart was always that of mercy. In Luke 23:34, while hanging from the cross and His lifeblood pouring out on the ground, being spat at and still mocked, Christ proclaimed: “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” The ignorance of man without God is just that: ignorance. How can we judge those who don’t even know? This is why the point of our Christian lives is to spread the gospel. Not convert everyone, that’s God’s job. We need to let those who are ignorant know the truth (http://tiny.cc/theword).
3) We are to sacrifice our lives completely and willingly according to God’s will. Paul tells us in Romans 12:1 “Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.” Christ worshiped the Father on the cross, by hanging there willingly. In Luke 22:42, Christ is praying to God before starting His journey to the cross and said, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.” This isn’t just a “trick” to get God to do what we want in answering our prayers, for Christ drank from that cup and was crucified anyway. But even though His earthly body did not want to do it, He obeyed God’s calling and did it willfully. It showed us the ultimate selflessness of His sacrifice, for we definitely didn’t deserve it. He saved us from ourselves.
Which of these 3 examples do you need to work on the most?