What could have gone on in Jesus’ mind on Palm Sunday, as he received cheers that he knew would not last. Here was the Lord of the universe, deliberately riding a donkey into an ambush. He knew a judicial miscarriage of justice, an illegal trial followed by an ignominious death, awaited him in less than a week.
Fortunately, we don’t have to wonder what he thought. Paul tells us all we need to know. Jesus was God in human form: the fullness of deity, the maximum portion of being God that his fully human nature and body could hold.
He had laid aside all of his heavenly privileges to accept his humanity. He lived and died in obedience to the divine plan that sorely tempted him to retake his privileges instead. God the Father has rewarded him with glory and honor far above anything in creation. All creation will worship Jesus and glorify the Father.
God expects us to have the same attitude. Jesus laid aside his divine privileges to become human. We must lay aside our human failings in order to become Godlike. Alas, that means crucifying our flesh, that is, our fallen sin-nature. And our flesh trembles in fear and rebels.
Let’s look at Jesus’ mindset in some other ways to see how we can appropriate it. Jesus most wanted to give, not get. Having everything, he emptied himself for the sake of others. With the help of the Holy Spirit, we can all keep becoming more giving and less grasping than we are. We can probably look back and notice we’re already more giving and less grasping than we once were.
Jesus was secure. He knew who he was, but he didn’t have to cling to it. He didn’t have to prove anything to anyone. And it is Jesus, more than anyone else, who wants to be our friend–yours and mine. Unlike many other people, he wants to be our friend more intensely than he want us to be his friend.
Every one of us is secure. If someone else appears secure, he is either exceptionally good at masking his insecurity or we just haven’t noticed how his insecurity manifests itself. Again, with the help of the Holy Spirit, we can imitate Jesus, even if we can’t duplicate him in ourselves. If fact, if we make every effort to pretend to be secure, like Jesus, we will thereby become more secure.
In any case, we can all begin now to do what every created being will eventually do. We can bow in worship. In fact, as we pray in Jesus’ name now, it’s fun to picture the devil on his knees, confessing that Jesus, not he, is Lord of all.