The SHEPHERD | Danilo Q. Junco
Apostle Paul said to the believers in Corinth “imitate me as I have imitated Christ.”
Of course, what Paul has in his mind when he said this phrase to Corinth Christians to imitate his life as he has imitated Christ was not to duplicate what Jesus did of dying on the cross because only God-man could do it to forgive the sins of all people all over the world but rather to do the same some of Christ’s traits.
Paul explained some of these traits in the epistle of Philippians like sacrifice, humility, obedience, unity and servanthood or usefulness.
Jesus Christ (Messiah) is God in the Second Person of the Godhead but He has to leave Heaven and come to earth to be conceived in Mary’s womb and came out as a baby and grew as a man and died on the cross to redeem mankind.
Not only that He left Heaven, a perfect place as it is not tainted with sins and rebellions, unlike the earth which Satan and all his minions’ rule to the sons of disobedience full of deceits, sufferings, bickering, hardship, among others.
In other words, Jesus Christ leaves His comfort zone just to invade the earth for the salvation of humanity.
The second thing that Jesus does is humility, He has to humble Himself not using His power and attributes as being God so He can identify with man or woman.
He remains as God or His deity but lays aside His powers and even restricts His presence on earth though previously His presence is throughout all the universe being the creator.
The opposite of humility is pride and this is the first sin that God hates the most as pride is the sins of Lucifer who became Satan as he wants to be like God and surpasses God, the reason God has to kick him out along with one third of God’s angels under Satan who joined with his rebellion against Him (God).
In fact, there were cases in the history of mankind when God has to punish the proud people or nation like in the case of King Sennacherib of Assyria when he desecrated the Name of God to disregard God as protector of Judah during King Hezekiah’s term.
God only sent one angel to kill 185,000soldiers of King Sennacherib on that particular night and the latter went back to Assyria and was murdered by his two sons.
God judged King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon to become like an animal for seven years because of pride; his nephew king Belshazzar was killed on that night by the Medes-Persia also because of desecrating the properties of God and others were eaten by worms because of pride like Antiochus Epiphanes IV and King Herod Antipas of Jerusalem.
The third trait is obedience. Jesus Christ has obeyed all His Father’s command even to the point of death, the death on the cross. He has never disobeyed His Father even when it means to suffer in excruciating pain on the cross, a death sentence to non-Roman common criminals.
Prophet Jonah was another example whom God used big fish to swallow him when he disobeyed God to come to Nineveh to warn the people there of their sins.
When Jonah repented, the fish vomited him at Nineveh’s shores and came to Nineveh and proclaimed the message of God and the people repented.
The fourth thing is unity. God wants unity and not disunity. Even in families or churches, God is pleased when they are united.
And the fourth thing is servanthood. Jesus though He is God but became the servant to the people and even to His disciples. He washed the disciples’ dirty feet as an example for being a servant.
These are the traits that God wants His people to imitate in Christ life.