Friday, April 3, 2015

The Good Friday Mindset

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 2:6-8)
Jesus has always been God, even before he was Jesus — that is, even before (from our time-bound perspective) he became human and dwelt among us. It was no contradiction for the eternal Son of God to pour himself out and become like you and me, even to become one with us, for God is self-giving, not self-serving. That is his nature, for God is love. So, becoming human did not take away one bit from his divinity. Nor did it disguise his divinity. Rather, it revealed his divinity. After all, when God created humankind, he created us in his own image, and Jesus, in his humanity said, “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.”

Nor was it a contradiction for Jesus to humble himself and become a servant, for God is love, and the nature of love is to give and to serve. It was the very thing he modeled for his disciples when he took up the basin and the towel and washed their feet on the night of the Last Supper, the night before he poured himself out on the cross.

Nor was it a contradiction for Jesus to become obedient to the point of death, even to such a cruel and horrible death as the cross. For God is love, and as Jesus himself said, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”

Love has always been the heart and mind of God. It was the mindset of the Incarnation and also of that Good Friday. And it is the same mindset he invites us to share with him. Not only to experience the love of God by receiving but also to experience it by pouring it, and ourselves, out for each other. So, Paul exhorts us, in his letter to the Jesus followers at Philippi, “In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus.”

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