Jesus, the Perfect Example

This semester chapel has been about intellectual character and virtue. We have defined intellectual character as the thought process behind every decision we make. Today we’re going to talk about the greatest example of intellectual character. Not only is He the greatest example of intellectual character, He is also the Savior of the world.

Of course I am talking about Jesus Christ, the One in whom all things were created from the beginning of time. Jesus is Emmanuel–God with us. We celebrated his birth on Christmas. And this week, we celebrate Good Friday–the death and burial of Jesus and Easter Sunday–the Resurrection of Jesus.

So, let me explain why Jesus is the perfect example of intellectual character.  In the Bible we are specifically asked to be like Jesus and follow his example. In Philippians 2:5-7 Paul talks about how Jesus was a perfect example of a life lived in humility and service to others:

“In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!”

First let’s talk about us. Are we selfish? Are we conceited? Are we prideful? Are we only worried about ourselves? About getting our way? I know I can act like that sometimes. But I have to tell you, I hear you all on the playground. I see you in the gym. I hear you in your classes, and I see you in lines walking through the school. Most of the time you are nice and friendly. Those are times we have the same mindset as Jesus. But sometimes I hear and see fighting, arguing, or even cheating–students trying to get their way. Those times we are not in the same mind, attitude, or acting like Jesus at all.

I want to look at this passage again because it doesn’t say that Jesus was some dude or some guy or some person; it says that he was in very nature God. We are not in very nature God the way Jesus was and is, and yet He lowered himself and humbled himself.

Another thing that the passage says is that He humbled himself to death, even death on a cross. What Paul is asking us to do is to humble ourselves–just to love each other and take care of each other and put others above ourselves—just as Jesus Christ humbled himself, giving of His life, and serving us. Paul is saying that if Jesus, who is so much higher above us, can humble himself lower than us, we can humble ourselves before each other, before our friends, and before our family.

I want us to be able to look at this passage when we have a problem humbling ourselves. I want us to remember this scripture when we want to have it our way and not care about others. I want us to be able to remember the perfect example Jesus lived out humility for us to save us because He loves us.

The passage continues, in Philippians 2:8-11:

“Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

Jesus is not just the perfect example; He is also the name above all names.   He is the one to whom every knee will bow, and to Him and every tongue confess and that Jesus Christ is Lord. As we celebrate Good Friday, let’s remember that Jesus humbled himself and died on the cross. He did that to save us and to bring us to a relationship with God.

But it didn’t stop there. That Sunday after he died, the ground began to shake, the stone was rolled away, and Jesus Christ walked out of that tomb victorious over death, hell, and the grave.

Jesus Christ is the perfect example of the life we are to live. He is the perfect example of intellectual character and all the virtues we are to strive for. But, He is so much more. He is the reigning King of kings, He is the Lord of lords, He is Jesus Christ the victor, and He deserves to be worshiped and praised.

He has saved us, He has forgiven us, and He has redeemed us. He has covered our faults and sins with His redeeming blood. He has washed us, He has shown mercy on us, He has shown grace to us, He has died for us because He loves us, and He will never leave us nor forsake us.

This week as you continue to worship and praise Him, continue to love your neighbor and humble yourself before each other.  Serve one another as Christ has served us and always remember we will be forever loved by Him.