Summary: He became what we are so we could become what he is
He became One of Us - John 1:14
preached by Brent W. Zastrow - March 11, 2001
Saybrook Christian Church - Saybrook, Il.
It is said that Cyrus, the founder of the Persian Empire, once had captured a prince
and his family. When they came before him, the monarch asked the prisoner, "What will
you give me if I release you?" "The half of my wealth," was his reply. "And if I release
your children?" "Everything I possess." "And if I release your wife?" "Your Majesty, I will
give myself." Cyrus was so moved by his devotion that he freed them all. As they returned
home, the prince said to his wife, "Wasn’t Cyrus a handsome man!" With a look of deep
love for her husband, she said to him, "I didn’t notice. I could only keep my eyes on you-
-the one who was willing to give himself for me."
You know a similiar scene took place in heaven I believe, and we know one took
place on earth, before the judgement seat of pilate. Jesus was given some choices, he was
asked, what will you give for the human race? His answer -- I will give myself.
It is always my hope that our eyes are upon him when we gather for worship, but
that is especially true right now -- I hope we can concentrate soley on Him for the next
moments, upon what he gave for us, upon the choices he made to save us.
We are looking at the choices Jesus made as he sacrificed himself for our salvation
on these Sundays leading up to Ressurection Sunday. We have seen that he chose not
only to die in our place, but that he chose each and every step along the way as well. Last
week we saw that he chose the beatings, and the humilation, even being spit upon by those
guards because we have a darkside which he can overcome. That humilation of Jesus
reminds us of that darkside and our need for his forgiveness. Today we see that he made
the choice to come to earth and become as one of us. He chose to receive the thorns that
they smashed upon his scalp and we’ll see just what that means to us. I saw a church sign
this week which aptly states the case for us today -- He became like us so we could
become like him. Today I hope you will see how Jesus choice to come to earth is the
difference between life and death for you. I pray that that choice will motivate you to
make a choice or two of your own, to respond to that love and to live your live in
appreciation of that choice. But first of all I invite you to set your eyes on Christ. See
him as he is brought now into the circle of guards. They have stripped him of his clothing.
What shame and humilation that brought to him. We don’t relate these days as much to
that. Our rules of modesty are so much looser that we really can’t understand how it felt.
In the middle east, especially in ancient times, men woudln’t even uncover themselves in
front of other men. That is still true in many countries there today. So Jesus is once again
put into a very embarassing and shameful position. And then after taking those clothes
from him they put a purple robe that they found somewhere on his shoulders and they
begin to bow down in mock worship. Then someone has an idea. “How can we have a