Aug 17, 2010

Royalty Recognized

Question most often heard at traffic stops, airport counters, Q's of any kind and pretty much anywhere in India:
"Do you know who I am?"
Meaning: How dare a low life scum like you have the bladder to question my superiority and not recognize my royal status?

We, as humans feel that we need to be recognized and rewarded for whatever nonexistent power we imagine we possess.
I have seen ordinary people who when they get a windfall of unexpected money or good luck, are transformed overnight into a slave. A slave to money and power.

So the world is filled with people who are pompous and love to throw their weight around. Make their presence felt and authority recognized. But how many times would you hear of a person of absolute Royalty coming down, humbling Himself even to the point of being persecuted and killed for being humble? Sure, we've heard of Rags to Riches, but how many of the Riches to Rags?

We tend to assume that Christ lived a charmed life and in our mundane everyday life, we forget the enormity of His sacrifice.
I had a friend who faced the prospect of being jailed for a offense that he didn't commit. Overnight, he became a shell of his former self. Very humbled, very sad, he could not fathom the fact that he would loose all his freedom and the disgrace and the humiliation that he would need to go through having 'come down' to a life that would be much more lowly than what he was living then.
While he was still grieving and dreading the future, he also began to appreciate the small joys of life.
If you and I, knew that we would be executed by hanging for a crime that we didn't commit tomorrow, would you live your today more piously?
Maybe yes, maybe no, but we will certainly not be the most cheerful people around.
Brooding, we would replay and die a thousand times everyday.

Did Jesus go through all this?
Of course, we know that He was the creator and Alpha and Omega. The Beginning and The End. The Truth. 

Going through Philippians 2:5-11
5Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
6Who, being in very nature God,
      did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
7but made himself nothing,
      taking the very nature of a servant,
      being made in human likeness.
8And being found in appearance as a man,
      he humbled himself
      and became obedient to death—
         even death on a cross!
9Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
      and gave him the name that is above every name,
10that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
      in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
      to the glory of God the Father.
We see one of the most enduring passages that tell us of how limitless, His love is for us.
But did He dread coming to earth, being born in a Manger, to parents who had the most lowly jobs in Israel then, to live a human life, resisting it's temptations of sin, and flesh. 
Did He ask His heavenly Father to make sure that He lived a charmed life? No. 
Did He invoke His Angels from heaven to come down and destroy all those who persecuted Him.
He could certainly have done this, with just a thought in His heart, but He didn't.

He chose to suffer the long way. Fully Human, Fully God, He could have given in to the temptation of avenging the cruel murder that He suffered. But He didn't.
The Scriptures right from the Old Testament tell us that the coming of Christ was only a matter of time and occasion. Rightly summarized, Jesus is concealed in the Old Testament, Revealed in the New Testament.
When Abraham was asked to sacrifice his only son, we see the enormous grief that he went through. We of course know how everything turned out. But the scriptures show us that we are supposed to be obedient to our Heavenly Father. Even to the point to death. Our Father does not need our dollars. He needs our undying affection. He needs us to acknowledge Him.

Perhaps, if He came in His truest glory with all the Angels and Archangels of Heaven, history would have been different. But then, the Bible would have been just another biography.
Of all the religions across civilizations, Christianity is the only religion where humility is practiced and not just preached. Our Lord, The Creator of all that there is, was and is to come, is a humble God. He is not pompous, not self gratifying, does not seek Himself, is not arrogant, does not find fault, is ever forgiving, always looking for ways to give you another chance in life to redeem yourself from the fires of hell. 

Come to think of it, He does practice all that He preached. 

Maybe it's time we followed our true King, our real Father. After all, He did come for us.
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