HIS PASSION (PT. 1)

JESUS, The Servant

“Adopt the attitude that was in Christ Jesus: Though he was in the form of God, he did not consider being equal with God something to exploit. But he emptied himself by taking the form of a slave and by becoming like human beings. When he found himself in the form of a human, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:5-9 CEB).

 

In the Novel,” The Prince and The Pauper”, Mark Train tells a wonderful story of a young prince whose father, the king is dying. The young prince wanted to know what his subjects were like beyond the walls of the gated and guarded palace. He wondered, ”How he could get out and get near his subjects without being recognized?” One day he sees a young pauper boy near the gate of the palace.  He was about the same height and age as well as having the same color hair and eye color.  He came upon a plan to swap places with the pauper.  The pauper in turn would assume the role of the young prince.

 

They exchange their clothing and the adventure (or misadventure) begins! The young prince enjoyed being among the commoners. But as adventures go, he soon faced real and unexpected adversity. But with great fortitude, the prince confronted each challenge without calling upon his princely authority.  

Meanwhile…Back at the palace, the pauper was in training to reign as king. He had to learn the royal protocol in order to think and act like a king.

 

THE SERVANT KING

 

What a wonderful story!  The story reminds me of the Good News story of Jesus Christ, our Servant King. He became what we are, human beings, saving for sin. He assumed the appearance and attitude of a servant. But we must ask, whose servant?

 

SERVANT OF THE FATHER

The prophet Isaiah foretold of His first coming, “But here is my servant, the one I uphold; my chosen, who brings me delight. I’ve put my spirit upon him; he will bring justice to the nations” (Isaiah 42:1 CEB). Jesus came first and foremost as the “Servant of Jehovah”. He did not come to please himself but rather to serve the will of the Father who sent him. Even his disciples had to learn of Jesus’ true assignment and mission. He received his directions daily from his heavenly Father.  Mark records, “Early in the morning, well before sunrise, Jesus rose and went to a deserted place where he could be alone in prayer. Simon and those with him tracked him down. When they found him, they told him, “Everyone’s looking for you!” He replied, “Let’s head in the other direction, to the nearby villages, so that I can preach there too. That’s why I’ve come.” (Mark 1:35-38 CEB).

 

Jesus walked and worked faithfully as a servant of his (Father) Abba. In doing so, he fixed his gaze toward the Cross. Notice his prayer in the Upper Room. “When Jesus finished saying these things, he looked up to heaven and said, ‘Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, so that the Son can glorify you. You gave him authority over everyone so that he could give eternal life to everyone you gave him. This is eternal life: to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you sent. I have glorified you on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do’”(John 17:1-4 CEB).

The all- consuming passion of Jesus was to do and “finish the work” his Father had given him to do on earth.  If we are one with Jesus we, too, will have one holy passion that His will be done here on earth.

 

SERVANT OF MAN

 

Jesus was also acutely aware of his role as a servant to humanity.  “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45 NET)One of his last acts before his agony and intense suffering was to take a basin and towel and wash his disciples feet. The lesson Jesus demonstrated, as the Son of God was servanthood. Jesus said, “He who would be great must be your servant”(Matthew 23:11).

 

LOVE’S SACRIFICE

 

Jesus was not only passionate about doing everything for love of the Father but he also was passionately in love with sinners. John the Baptist proclaimed when he saw Jesus, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”(John 1:29). Jesus revealed Father’s love for us by dying our death. As Leonard Ravenhill once commented, “Love on any level demands sacrifice.”

 

Reflecting and meditating during this season upon Christ’s Passion, we remember that his going to Calvary had a two-fold mission. (1) To satisfy the will of God as His one-unique Son. On the cross, “After Jesus drank he said, “It is finished.” Then he bowed his head and died”(John 19:30 NIRV).  (2) To become our substitution on the Cross. Jesus “tasted death for every man”(Hebrews 2:9).  When we meditate on the two beams of the Cross, one vertical and the other horizontal, we must remember that Jesus died as the “Suffering Servant-King”. He did it as an act of love for the Father. He also did it out of love for us.

 

 

(c) Copyright 2014, Walter Fletcher Jr. All rights reserved. This article may be shared free of charge provided that is not sold or altered from its original content. Please address all correspondence to: Walterfletcherjr@gmail.com.

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