Originally scheduled for May 10
Perhaps you haven’t noticed, but Jesus has a
very distinctive style of doing things. He will not change stones
into bread, but he will change water into wine. It is the divine
style; through natural processes water can become wine but stones
cannot become bread. As the old hymn put it, “Jesus do with all
Nowhere is this more evident than in the
Jesus went through the entire
suffering of the cross, patiently enduring it. He did not shortcut
You will recall that in the middle of
being crucified he gave the care of his mother, Mary, to the apostle
John. “Woman, behold thy son.” There is a tender gentleness there,
concern for his mother who could have been left to his stepbrothers.
The King of Kings and Lord of Lords
went through this process speaking as little as could as was
appropriate. He treated his torturers not from his position as the
Lord of the universe, but rather the Son of Man. It is a stunning
display of humility.
Throughout the entire process of
trial and crucifixion, Jesus was concerned for his disciples. When
they came to arrest him he insisted that the gendarmes let his
disciples go — which they did. Instead of misery loves company, he
had the kindness to suffer alone.
It is a stunning display of
compassion but the Lord of the universe was incarnate as a baby,
grew to a man and offered himself as our sacrifice.
In our passage of Scripture this morning, Paul
recommends these to us as virtues that we should adopt.
Compassion — the art of “painful
sympathy” or suffering with others.
Kindness, the handmaiden which always
Humility — Noah Webster defines this
as being freedom from pride and arrogance.
Gentleness — that certain mildness of
temper, resembling a strong man picking up and cuddling a little
Patience — Mr. Webster again:
suffering with a calm unruffled temper. In other words, despite
being tortured, the patient man is the adult in the room.
I submit to you that Christ set this example
deliberately. He acted in this way as an example, a shepherd showing
the flock how to behave. When you take communion, you are
acknowledging this example, this style, as being the source of your
salvation. It is also instructional to you. For what you see in
Christ, you should imitate. You call him Lord; do you follow his