This morning I read through John 19. Typical Good Friday reading since it tells the story of the sentencing and crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Of course, I've read this passage a zillion times before, but this morning, I had this blog on my mind and the drastically different images of leadership - in relationship to love and pride - struck me, particularly in the verses 17 through 30.
Check it out:
"So they took Jesus away. Carrying the cross by himself, he went to the place called Place of the Skull (in Hebrew, Golgotha). There they nailed him to the cross. Two others were crucified with him, one on either side, with Jesus between them. And Pilate posted a sign over him that read, ?Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.' The place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and the sign was written in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek, so that many people could read it.
"Then the leading priests objected and said to Pilate, ?Change it from "The King of the Jews" to "He said, I am King of the Jews."'
"Pilate replied, ?No, what I have written, I have written.'
"When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they divided his clothes among the four of them. They also took his robe, but it was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom. So they said, ?Rather than tearing it apart, let's throw dice for it.' This fulfilled the Scripture that says, ?They divided my garments among themselves and threw dice for my clothing.' So that is what they did.
"Standing near the cross were Jesus' mother, and his mother's sister, Mary (the wife of Clopas), and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother standing there beside the disciple he loved, he said to her, ?Dear woman, here is your son.' And he said to this disciple, ?Here is your mother.' And from then on this disciple took her into his home.
"Jesus knew that his mission was now finished, and to fulfill Scripture he said, "I am thirsty." A jar of sour wine was sitting there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put it on a hyssop branch, and held it up to his lips. When Jesus had tasted it, he said, ?It is finished!' Then he bowed his head and released his spirit."
Reading through this morning not only touched and humbled me - as someone ransomed by this extraordinary act of grace - but got me questioning so many other things. I'll ask you the questions I've been thinking:
What do you think about Pilate's response to the priests? Was he being a stubborn leader or was he acknowledging the truth of whom he sentenced to die?
How about Jesus here? What images of love pour out from this act as the ultimate sacrificial leader?
How are you changed as a leader because of what Jesus did for us? What difference does it make to lead under and serve a Risen Lord?
How has this extension of grace and resulting freedom in Christ shaped your leadership?