Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Mindset of Christ

“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

When we celebrate Easter, we’re not just celebrating a “story”, or just an event that happened 2000 years ago. Rather, we’re celebrating the accomplishments of a single person; Jesus Christ, who conquered death and hell for us. But beyond the story of the empty tomb is the remarkable story of a God, who was enthroned in majesty and glory, giving up His heavenly status and coming down in a form of a man, but not just any man, he became the lowest of all men, a servant. To imagine God serving us is like having the highest authoritative figure in our land such as our Prime Minister coming to wash our feet. Can you even imagine that? And worse, he subjected himself to punishments that were reserved for the worse of all people; slaves, traitors, and murderers.

If our only focus of the Easter story is Christ’s victory over death, then we’ve missed the more important points. While Christ conquering hell is important (it’s the foundation of our faith), its power is loss if we do not reflect that freedom which Christ have purchased for us in our lives. Jesus did not suffer and die on the cross so that we can continue sinning and live our own lives. Rather, He paid the high price so that we can be reconciled back to the Father, and start living for His will instead.

Paul in the passage above exhorts the church to have the mind of Christ. That means that we’re to act and live just has how Jesus lived here on earth. Paul said this in the following verses in Philippians 3:
“But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.”

My prayer for this Easter is that we can all have the mind of Christ. Let us strive to be more Christ-like in our thoughts, words and deeds; to the extent that the people around us can see Jesus living through us.