His Humility, Our Hope
It is a word that is loaded with all sorts of meaning, and points to the future.
For example, I could say — and probably would for that matter — “I hope the sun keeps shining so I can go for a bike ride this afternoon!”
Or, if you’re not a bike rider, maybe you’re hopeful that the weather will hold so you can get out and work in the yard.
But the Hope that is needed today in our world is much more significant.
People in Ukraine and in Eastern Europe HOPE the hostilities will end and their enemy will go home, so they can rebuild their lives that have been broken by the violence of another.
My friends who live in California are broken under the financial strain of placed upon them by another, as they pay $7, $8, and even $9 per gallon for the same gasoline you and I use.
They HOPE some relief and sanity will soon be theirs.
Families with school-aged children are looking for HOPE today.
They are concerned about the safety of their children, and rightly so.
Many public schools across our land — including Eau Claire and Chippewa Falls— are now allowing children who are “identifying” as a different gender than how God created them, to use the bathroom of their choice.
For many parents, I am sure what took place in Virginia is haunting them as they read the directives sent by the School District Superintendents.
This is another illustration of brokenness and sinfulness of our world.
What happened in Virginia?
A boy who identified as a girl was permitted to use the girls restroom, and then he sexually assaulted a little girl there.
I could go on, but I HOPE you get the idea.
Many people are at their wits end, longing for HOPE due to the brokenness of this world and sin.
Ancient Israel was no exception.
They suffered under the brokenness of the Roman thumb and were HOPEFUL for the long promised Messiah to come and rescue them from their tyrants.
They HOPED for a Mighty Savior who would rescue them their oppressors.
Then here comes Jesus riding into Jerusalem, to cries of Hosanna!
But, He came riding in on a borrowed foal of a donkey, and not on a mighty war horse.
Can you imagine a football team named the Centennials, with a sword wielding Knight.
He enters the stadium at the beginning of the game and plants his sword into the turf, as a signal to their opponents.
But how would the message be different if they came riding in on donkeys?
And that is the point.
Not only did Jesus come riding into Jerusalem riding an animal that would never be used in battle, Jesus came to defeat the enemy by being defeated himself.
Not really the hope they were looking for.
But this is exactly what they need and what we need today.
In fact, we are to have the same attitude as Jesus, in humility serving one another in order to bring salvation to the world.
Jesus’ Attitude of Humility
Jesus adopted the attitude of humility.
Jesus was in very nature God.
Jesus became true man at his incarnation.
Jesus emptied himself during his state of humiliation.
We are to Have this Same Attitude
We servants learn the attitude of humility from Jesus.
We do not snatch after glory, position, power.
We humbly give ourselves for the good of others in the service of Christ.
Someone once said, “If you have tried to be humble, you are in a spiritually hazardous condition” You see, trying to be humble throws the matter back on to yourself.
It makes the self the center and depends on self-effort
And there we see the problem.
Humility always focus on the other person and never on ourselves.
The Devil would have us do nothing but focus on ourselves.
An example of focusing on myself: “I am full of myself when my wife is trying to tell me something and I am just waiting for her to stop talking so I can talk.”
My heart is bent inward and as a result, I am not listening to her in a spirit of humility.
And whatever it is she is trying to tell me is not penetrating.
And if she is hopeful for something to happen, hopes would be dashed.
But, we are admonished to have the same attitude as Christ Jesus.
His humility resulted in hope for the world.
Jesus’ Humility Lead to Obedience
Jesus, the Servant, was obedient
Jesus obeyed his Father.
Though true man, like us, he was without sin.
Jesus was obedient to death, even death on the cross.
Therefore the Father exalted him to the highest place.
I heard someone recently say, “If you’re not hungry for God, you’re probably full of yourself.”
And people full of themselves worships God on their own terms.
Our Humility Worships Christ as Lord
We servants are obedient to Jesus, our Lord.
We join all Christians in confessing that Jesus is Lord.
Illustration: He was born of a woman
so we could be born of God.
He humbled himself
so we could be lifted up.
He became a servant
so we could be made heirs.
He suffered rejection
so we could be his friends.
He denied himself
so we could freely receive all things.
He gave himself
so he could bless us in every way!
We have the same attitude of humble obedience as Christ Jesus.
His humble obedience resulted in HOPE that the world cannot give.
Our world and society is in much need of HOPE that only God can give.
And this morning our thoughts have been directed to the humility and obedience of Christ.
My prayer is that the humiliation of our Lord does not move you to pity him, to say, “Poor, poor Jesus; what have they done to you?”
But instead, to embrace the attitude of Jesus as your own.
This Palm Sunday text assures us that Jesus is Lord.
In all his humiliation, he remains ever royal and noble in his sufferings, exalted in his spirit of sacrifice.
As our Lord, he doesn’t want our pity, but our trust and humble obedience.
He wants us to draw comfort from the salvation he has accomplished for us on the cross, finding strength and courage from him in our own sufferings during these trying times.
Indeed, the day is coming when “every knee” will bow and “every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (vv 10–11).
That day has not yet come.
For not every knee is bent, not every tongue can press those words through teeth still clenched in angry self-righteousness and unbelief, which we see manifest today.
For us now, however, “our attitude” is what’s at stake.
Paul emphasizes, “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus” (v 5).
That attitude comes from a faith that responds to the love of Christ in humble trust.
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.