One of the things that strikes me as most astonishing about Jesus, as one of the most powerful things that truly sheds light on His character, is how much He was in the Scriptures. When He was tempted, when He was in deep moments of crisis, even when He was on the cross, He quoted Scripture. What does this mean? Jesus Himself, His mind and His heart, was saturated with God’s Word. Jesus knew that in order for Him to grow in favor and stature with God and men, He indeed must be in the Word. Jesus knew that they were vital and absolutely essential to being connected with the Father.
OBEDIENT TO DEATH
This reality, that Jesus was so connected with the Scriptures, has allowed me to ponder more and more exactly what His character must have been like. Thankfully, in chapter 2 of Paul’s letter to the Philippians, He gives us a beautiful and poignant overview of such character. He writes the following:
In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death — even death on a cross! – Philippians 2:5-8
That last verse there, verse 8, is all we need to know about the character of Jesus; that He became so obedient as a servant to His Father, and to men, that He even took on the scorn of the cross.
When Jesus tells us to remember Him when He was at that last supper with His disciples, not only do we remember so as to celebrate and allow the life-giving, grace and love flowing truth of the cross to flood us, but we also remember the cross because it shows up His character, a character that He has given us to be freely like, as His indwelling Spirit permeates us and surrounds us.
THREE FINAL THOUGHTS
So, here are 3 thoughts I’d like to leave us with, regarding how to live in light of Jesus’ character:
1) Philippians 2:3-4 says, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”
Ask yourself: what would life look like if we all lived by this verse? If this verse was our motto,
What would our relationships look like?
What would home look like?
What would our workplace look like?
What would meeting new people look like?
What kind of peace would we find from worrying so much less about our own selves?
What kind of joy and grace would come with taking on the humility of Christ, and seeing others as He does?
2) Again, Jesus thought that it was essential to have a mind and a heart saturated and permeated with the Scriptures. How much more should we be in the Word? If Jesus thought it was a good idea, let us take note!
3) What would life be like if we quite literally saw everyone that we come into contact with as Jesus sees them? Think deeply about this one.
Jesus said to remember because it’s so easy to get caught up in a million other things in this life and forget. What is one easy, practical thing that you can do in your daily life to allow you to more fully remember His sacrifice on the cross? What is one easy or practical thing that you can do daily to remind you to fully live in His character, which He has given us in the indwelling of the Spirit? Jesus calls us forward into one degree of glory to another. Let us go with Him!