Living like Jesus is something that every single person who considers themself to be a
Christian should be doing, but relatively few actually try to do this with every
part of their being, and unfortunately in this corrupt world, no one has
fully achieved such perfection, for we all sin and fall short of the glory
However, the key to living like Jesus is to seek the perfection of our Father in heaven, and at the same time have a repentant attitude so that every time we accidentally fall short, we sincerely tell the Lord we are sorry and ask for His forgiveness.
Letís begin our journey into living like Jesus by taking a look at Philippians 2:5-11, and really thinking about what Paul wroteÖ
5. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus,
6. who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped,
7. but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.
This shows the humble nature of our gracious God, and we need to be humble, too; we just need to be ourselves with no pretense; that is, as long as we are living in the heavenly will of God.
8. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
Now we may never need to do this, but we need to always be obedient to the Lord our God.
9. Therefore also God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which
is above every name,
10. that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those who are in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth,
11. and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
We cannot be Jesus, but we sure can be living like Jesus and doing all that
He taught us, like not deliberately causing any pain, suffering, or death to
any other living being, whether they be human or animal.
In Isaiah 50:4-9, the prophet is speaking for and about the Lord our God.
4. The Lord GOD has given Me the tongue of disciples,
That I may know how to sustain the weary one with a word.
He awakens Me morning by morning,
He awakens My ear to listen as a disciple.
Specifically, the Lord gives each of us the ability to speak and hear the promptings of the Holy Spirit as one of His disciples, which means we are really without any excuse for not speaking out in this corrupt and evil world.
5. The Lord GOD has opened My ear;
And I was not disobedient,
Nor did I turn back.
Do you remember that last week we were talking about looking forward and not back, which is what Isaiah is telling us?
6. I gave My back to those who strike Me,
And My cheeks to those who pluck out the beard;
I did not cover My face from humiliation and spitting.
There was no violence in the Lordís human nature, and neither should there be any in our lives, and we are never to take vengeance on anyone.
7. For the Lord GOD helps Me,Ē
Therefore, I am not disgraced;
Therefore, I have set My face like flint,
And I know that I shall not be ashamed.
We hope and pray that we all have this kind of faith, for in the days to come we will need it.
8. He who vindicates Me is near;
Who will contend with Me?
Let us stand up to each other;
Who has a case against Me?
Let him draw near to Me.
9. Behold, the Lord GOD helps Me;
Who is he who condemns Me?
Behold, they will all wear out like a garment;
The moth will eat them.
This is the way we should feel as disciples of the Lord, and we need to live
by that faith every day of our lives.
In Luke 22:14-71, we are told the Palm/Passion story, and within these lines are examples of how we should be living like Jesus.
14. And when the hour had come He reclined at the table, and the apostles with Him.
This was their vegan Passover meal, and we should note carefully that there is no mention of them eating any animal or animal by-products.
15. And He said to them, "I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer;
Jesus is plainly telling His disciples that He is shortly going to be killed, for He knows, as we should know, that even if we die in this corrupt world, we will live forever with the Lord in heaven.
16. for I say to you, I shall never again eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God."
This is the hope and promise of the heavenly world to come, and this assurance should guide everything we do and say in the world.
17. And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He said, "Take this and
share it among yourselves;
18. for I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine from now on until the kingdom of God comes."
19. And when He had taken some bread and given thanks, He broke it, and gave it to them, saying, "This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me."
20. And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, "This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood.
This is our communion service; it is not Jesus Christ, but it is celebrated
in remembrance of Him so that we never forget.
And something else: we believe that every vegan meal should also remind us of Jesus, whose love, compassion, and empathy extended to the entire creation, and not just to humans, for we are charged with protecting Godís creation and freeing it from its present corruption.
21. "But behold, the hand of the one betraying Me is with Me on the table.
22. "For indeed, the Son of Man is going as it has been determined; but woe to that man by whom He is betrayed!"
This world is filled with Judas-like people, whom we are to peacefully protect the world from, and if we are unable to do this peacefully, we are to prayerfully leave them in the hands of the Lord; we are never to take vengeance ourselves.
23. And they began to discuss among themselves which one of them it might be who was going to do this thing.
We never should have such discussions, for they only cause discontent; over time all evil people reveal themselves.
24. And there arose also a dispute among them as to which one of them was
regarded to be greatest.
25. And He said to them, "The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who have authority over them are called 'Benefactors.'
26. "But not so with you, but let him who is the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as the servant.
27. "For who is greater, the one who reclines at the table, or the one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines at the table? But I am among you as the one who serves.
We all need to think meditatively about what Jesus said to the disciples for we are to be living like Jesus, for we are always to be the servant, even when we are in a leadership role.
28. "And you are those who have stood by Me in My trials;
29. and just as My Father has granted Me a kingdom, I grant you
30. that you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom, and you will sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
I believe that this specific job was given to those disciples, but we are
always to be Godís representative here on earth, and always set the example
of His heavenly will.
This is all part of what it means to be living like Jesus.
31. "Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like
32. but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers."
We all seem to get trials and tribulation from the devil, and sometimes we lose sight of who we are supposed to be, and we believe that Jesus recognized this fact in the way that He addressed Peter.
33. And he [Peter] said to Him, "Lord, with You I am ready to go both to
prison and to death!"
34. And He said, "I say to you, Peter, the cock will not crow today until you have denied three times that you know Me."
We may think we are stronger than we really are, just like Peter, and may not recognize it until it is called to our attention, as he came to learn.
35. And He said to them, "When I sent you out without purse and bag and
sandals, you did not lack anything, did you?" And they said, "No, nothing."
36. And He said to them, "But now, let him who has a purse take it along, likewise also a bag, and let him who has no sword sell his robe and buy one.
We donít understand the part about buying a sword, because everything in Jesusí life was peaceful, even when we cleansed the Temple.
37. "For I tell you, that this which is written must be fulfilled in Me,
'And He was numbered with transgressors;' for that which refers to Me has
38. And they said, "Lord, look, here are two swords." And He said to them, "It is enough."
39. And He came out and proceeded as was His custom to the Mount of Olives; and the disciples also followed Him.
Note carefully that Jesus didnít change His custom, even though He knew that the enemy also knew His custom; He faced the enemy head on.
40. And when He arrived at the place, He said to them, "Pray that you may
not enter into temptation."
41. And He withdrew from them about a stone's throw, and He knelt down and began to pray,
42. saying, "Father, if Thou art willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Thine be done."
This may be a hard thing to pray for when we are facing danger, but this is all part of living like Jesus.
43. Now an angel from heaven appeared to Him, strengthening Him.
We may not see an angel, at least one who we can recognize, but if we truly listen, we will sense the unction of the Holy Spirit.
44. And being in agony He was praying very fervently; and His sweat became like drops of blood, falling down upon the ground.
Even if we are truly living like Jesus, we probably wonít actually sweat
blood, but our blood pressure could go up substantially because of stress,
so we need to practice focusing on Jesus and what He would do.
Jesus chose to die rather than choose the corrupt things of this world, but are we willing to do the same?
This is what it could come to, if we are willing to truly be living like Jesus.
45 And when He rose from prayer, He came to the disciples and found them
sleeping from sorrow,
46. and said to them, "Why are you sleeping? Rise and pray that you may not enter into temptation."
Even the strongest of disciples can fall away, but the key inner conviction in us is whether or not we are willing and able to do the same thing.
47. While He was still speaking, behold, a multitude came, and the one
called Judas, one of the twelve, was preceding them; and he approached Jesus
to kiss Him.
48. But Jesus said to him, "Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?"
Betrayals come in many ways and we must be on the alert for them, and call them out, just as Jesus did.
49. And when those who were around Him saw what was going to happen, they
said, "Lord, shall we strike with the sword?"
50. And a certain one of them struck the slave of the high priest and cut off his right ear.
51. But Jesus answered and said, "Stop! No more of this." And He touched his ear and healed him.
This may just be the reason that Jesus allowed them to have a sword in the first place, but the key thing for us to learn is that living like Jesus is that we have no sense of becoming violent.
52. And Jesus said to the chief priests and officers of the temple and
elders who had come against Him, "Have you come out with swords and clubs as
against a robber?
53. "While I was with you daily in the temple, you did not lay hands on Me; but this hour and the power of darkness are yours."
We need to remember that evil people always seem to want to have their evil deeds hidden from the public.
54. And having arrested Him, they led Him away, and brought Him to the house
of the high priest; but Peter was following at a distance.
55. And after they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and had sat down together, Peter was sitting among them.
Peter was trying to blend in among the people who had just arrested Jesus, and because of his attitude, Peter will now have to face the trials of considering his relationship with Jesus, just as Jesus had warned him.
56. And a certain servant-girl, seeing him as he sat in the firelight, and
looking intently at him, said, "This man was with Him too."
57 But he denied it, saying, "Woman, I do not know Him."
Peter failed his first test, just as Jesus said he would.
What would we do in such a situation, if we are living like Jesus?
58. And a little later, another saw him and said, "You are one of them too!" But Peter said, "Man, I am not!"
Peter had now failed his second test of faith.
If we are truly trusting in Jesus, then we would not deny Jesus.
59. And after about an hour had passed, another man began to insist, saying,
"Certainly this man also was with Him, for he is a Galilean too."
60. But Peter said, "Man, I do not know what you are talking about." And immediately, while he was still speaking, a cock crowed.
Now Peter failed his third test of faith.
Note what happened next.
61. And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the word
of the Lord, how He had told him, "Before a cock crows today, you will deny
Me three times."
62. And he went out and wept bitterly.
We could easily be like Peter in this situation, about any number of
situations that test our faith.
Now our attention is turned back to Jesus.
63. And the men who were holding Jesus in custody were mocking Him, and
64. and they blindfolded Him and were asking Him, saying, "Prophesy, who is the one who hit You?"
65. And they were saying many other things against Him, blaspheming.
This kind of behavior is unfortunately typical of worldly people who scapegoat others they believe cannot retaliate or who have any effective claims brought against them, and no matter what happens we cannot retaliate against them, unless it is to report them to the authorities, such as the police or the district attorney.
66. And when it was day, the Council of elders of the people assembled, both
chief priests and scribes, and they led Him away to their council chamber,
67. "If You are the Christ, tell us." But He said to them, "If I tell you, you will not believe;
68. and if I ask a question, you will not answer.
69. "But from now on the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the power of God."
70. And they all said, "Are You the Son of God, then?" And He said to them, "Yes, I am."
71. And they said, "What further need do we have of testimony? For we have heard it ourselves from His own mouth."
They are just proving that they are really evil followers of the ways of the
world and not of God, but they are in a position of authority, which is
really all that they care about, for they see Jesus as a threat against
their positions and want Him out of the way.
There are a lot of pastors and other religious leaders today who act in similar ways to protect their positions, and we are not to follow them in their ways.
If we are truly living like Jesus, we will also act like Him in everything we do and say.
This is really about what these Resurrection Day celebrations are all about; they are to be exercises in living like Jesus, which is really what all of us should be doing.
And we can do it if we really want to.
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