Isn’t it striking to look at all of the nativity scenes over the holidays and see the little baby? Isn’t the thought of God as a baby striking? Oh the helplessness of God at that moment! Carry it on 33 years later. Isn’t it striking to look at THE MAN on a cross, bloody and beaten? Isn’t the thought of God being manhandled and placed on a cross striking? Oh the helplessness of God at that moment! I’m struck by it all. I’m struck by what it suggests – the humility of God or God being humiliated. Who is this God who would submit himself to such? Who is this man that would stay the course under such lowly position?
If anyone has ever had a right to pride, it was God. If anyone has ever had the right to be offended, it was God. If anyone has ever had a case to make, it was God. If anyone has ever had the right to righteous indignation, it was God. If anyone should have been rescued from the pain of humiliation, it was God. If anyone was ever justified in using all of their available power to mount their defense in the face of accusers, it was God. And yet, God stayed the course. God chose humiliation. God chose to be wronged. God chose to be lowly and unoffended. God chose to be prideless. Oh, what a Savior! Oh, what a God! Not only is He our Savior, He is our example. He is the one whose Spirit we are of. His example is the example we can expect to be performed in us. Yet, we are so easily offended. We are so easily thrown off balance. We are so easily tripped up. We can be walking in new strength, dwelling on the mountaintop of spiritual bliss and, almost with astounding suddenness, we are knocked off course. Why is this?
Could it be because we are still too alive in our own pride? Could it be that we are not of the same Spirit as He who is our example? We must know what spirit we are of, and it is not brain surgery to figure this out. If we are of His Spirit, then we will act as His Spirit acted through His own Son. So what does His Spirit direct and empower us to do? What He did, of course. We too must lay our offenses down. Oh, but we think we’re right, and we probably are. We think they were wrong, and they probably were. We think we have a case, and we probably do. But if we are to be of the same Spirit that Christ was of, we must lay everything rooted in our own selves down.
We must lay our righteous indignation down. For it is only anger and malice in disguise. We must lay our case down – and stop making it. For Christ is our advocate. We must lay our defense down – and be undefended. For God alone is our defender. We must take our humiliation like the man or woman of God we claim to be. This is the life of one who has been crucified with Christ and lives by faith in the Son of God (Gal. 2:20). This is the life of one whom “is having” the Son (1 John 5:12). Let us rise up and live on a higher plain. Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sins that so easily besets, and run (Hebrews 12:1). Let us expect more of ourselves, for God, in all His Divine humility lives in us.