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

king without a crown?” he says. So that one gathers some of the thorns that could be

found eveywhere and fashions them into a crude crown and they ram those thorns down

upon his head. The pain would have been terrible. The blood is now running down into

his eyes and hair.

That is scene as we see it today. And remember, Jesus was not forced into this, he

chose every part. Why did he do it? Because he loves you. Let’s look further at what he

did for you and for me. Let’s see what he gave up and what he took on as we consider

that Jesus loved us enough to beomce one of us.

First of all Jesus His equality with God. There is a passage in Phil. 2 which should

be one of the verses or texts every Christian memorizes -- it should be upon our hearts

everyday as we get up for it should be the attitude we remember throughout each day.

Paul says there Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus Who, being God

did not consider equality with God something to hang on to, but made himself nothing,

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