Many are the records of those who have used swords, cannons, and weapons of war to conquer the earth. But only One invaded the earth conquering hearts by wielding the sword and shield of humility. Napoleon, the French Emperor and conqueror said, “Alexander, Charlemagne and myself all tried to found an empire on force and we failed. Jesus Christ is building an empire on love, and today there are millions of people who would gladly die for His sake.”
Let us take lessons from this Good Friday. In this twilight zone of quarantining, there will be for the first time in recorded history, no citizens since the “anno domini” inception that will gather in churches to worship the Messiah. Whatever the earthly madness of COVID 19 that has locked us in our homes, we count ourselves blessed---if only to reflect on this Easter season concerning the Son of Man, the risen Savior.
Has any humbler sacrifice been made than that of Christ? Saint Paul declares:
“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!
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of the Father.” Philippians 2:6-11
Prior to Christ, pride, honor, and courage were the virtues since Eden’s revolution that ruled men. Ancient empires swaggered in man-made glory like that of Sennacherib’s Assyria, the Pharaohs of Egypt, the Babylonians, and the Persians before. Then arrived Christ, the man, the Savior. Through Christ’s invasion of earth, humility arose, as the name of Jesus touched the lips of citizens through healings, catechism, sacraments, and weekly worship. Upside down, the world was turned in 33 AD, by One man who humbled himself to the point of death so lots of nobodies could become somebodies.
Jesus single-handedly redefined western civilization in the way of humility.
What kind of man, imbued with such power to rule the earth, would limit himself to the weapons of love and humility? Yet, with only love as His guide and humility as the weapon of choice, Jesus manages in every generation of mankind, to invade our personal brokenness, feeble ways, and insecurities and masterfully transform us into wholeness.
His birth was not in the Golden courts of Rome, but in a horse’s trough. Rome was not his home; Nazareth was. His meteoric rise to from carpenter to king was fueled by a mission to serve others by giving everything He had away--- his life and shed blood under orders of crucifixion. All for what? To conquer death and sin, thereby, bringing life and hope to us all.
From the ashes of humility comes the One with extraordinary power to calm storms, heal the sick, and manufacture bread. “I only do what the Father does,” says Jesus. Raises the dead, heals lepers, and casts out disease and demons at every turn---and Jesus only says, “I and the Father are one….If you do not believe me, then believe in the miracles I have done”.
In Jesus is the great elegance of humility and power, meekness and authority, mercy and judgment, gentleness and ferocity---being used on our behalf perfecting us in our times of need.
Above all, on Easter Sunday we remember the enormity of abuse and willing pain of crucifixion that ravaged the Son of God’s body. Through Christ’s death, His words scandalously ring true humbling the most prideful of us all saying, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
Forgive them? Since when do kings hang from a cross for 6 hours, only to forgive those who tortured him to death---and then ask us to do the same for others? Buried, left for dead, with tomb guarded by Roman centurions, at which time the historical narrative perks up with delight—-the tomb is empty on the 3rd day, the bloody linens remain, and the body is gone! Resurrected, ascended, and seated at the right hand of the Father, the Son of God did for us what we could not do for ourselves---He spilled his precious blood on the cross to give us abundant life today with victory over sin, death, and despair.
Let us remember the secret weapon of Easter, humility, that has conquered the hearts of millions on every continent. Before we, as leaders, venture into tomorrow, may our hearts today be arrested with the secret weapon of Easter, so that we may live the right way as world-changers