The Mind of Christ as Revealed on the Cross

The lessons from Jesus “Seven Words on the Cross” could well be characterized by Philippians 2:5:  “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians. 2:5) R 2474  (Thought from the Brethren from Clearwater Florida class, 2001)  The mind of Christ (Philippians 2:5-8) is revealed to us in the words and actions of Jesus throughout his earthly ministry.  There are especially poignant lessons about the mind of Christ as we meditate on the words that he spoke on the cross.

“Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”  Luke 23:34       

“…While not in the oldest manuscripts, these words, undoubtedly represent our Lord’s sentiments.”

The mind of Christ knows the role of ignorance and blindness in the actions and reactions of humanity.  The mind of Christ sought the Mind of the Father, and fulfilled His way of freeing people from their ignorance and blindness.  Jesus became the sacrifice necessary for all to receive blessing: for some to receive a higher calling now, and for the rest of humanity to receive an earthly resurrection opportunity for true freedom in the Kingdom.   1 Corinthians 15:22-25 The freedom from ignorance and blindness for our human family will be accomplished through piercing truths unquestionably revealed during the Kingdom on earth, which first provide the space to be transformed in thought and perception and then provide the space to realign allegiance and passion of life to him.  Zechariah 12:9-14; 13:1-2; .Jeremiah 31:31-34; Philippians 2:8-11  The mind of Christ led Jesus to fulfill the Father’s will for these blessings even at the point of greatest pain and humiliation.

…Let us not forget to keep in touch with the groaning creation; to sympathize with its sorrows and its woes; to realize its deep degradation and misery; to remember its frailties, its awful burden of hereditary taints and consequent weaknesses; its present environments of ignorance and superstition; and its long established errors of public sentiment….  And as the cries of the groaning creation come up into the ears of the Lord of hosts (James 5:4) with strong and pathetic pleading to his loving heart, so let them come into our ears and gain our sympathies, and quicken our zeal to co-operate with our Heavenly Father’s plan for the establishment of his Kingdom of righteousness and peace.  R3067  2 Corinthians 4:4

O may we have the mind of Christ that seeks for a way to bless in the midst of harsh treatment and that holds fast to this Kingdom hope as one of the joys set before us that empowers us to endure all that His wisdom requires.

“I say to you today,”;  in that present moment of time on the cross, of deepest despair when all seemed dark and hopeless, “you shall be with me in Paradise.”;  Luke 23:43  The mind of Christ kept the vision of the Kingdom blessing real and vibrant.    In the midst of his deep agony he was ready to share this hope with a criminal who hung on a cross beside him.

Regardless of the darkness of our time, or our experience, may the mind of Christ triumph with the truth of His silently unfolding blessing, and may we have the courage and strength to share this truth.

“Woman, behold thy son! … Behold thy mother.”  John 19:26-27

The mind of Christ knows the power of close and intimate relationships.  He knew the depth of grief as well as the tenderness of his mother’s heart.  He knew the passion and devotion of John, the Son of Thunder.  He knew the power of connecting these two people in their need and in their strengths.  He would express his love for his mother through John, giving her another son to love and to provide for her continued life as a widow.  And he would express his love for his disciple John by giving him a mother, someone who could ground his passion and deepen his love.  He provides for the need by providing the relationship needed.  He provided companionship and intimate help at a time when he received no tangible help.

In the midst of our own challenge may we be a mother, or a son to one another, or empower one another to do so, expressing through the mind of Christ in us, his love as we become his heart, his hands, his feet to one another.

The Final Hymn

#397  The Final Hymn

“Rise up, let us leave.”  John 14:31 When they had sung a hymn they went out to the Mount of Olives.

The little group stood up after partaking of the Passover/Remembrance supper and sang a hymn from the Hallel, from Psalm 113-118.  The Hallel is a group of Psalms known as Praise Psalms, traditionally sung  or chanted at Passover.  Psalm 116-118 may have been the part of the Hallel sung after the Supper.

These Psalms give us insight into the strength and focus of the thoughts upon which our Lord meditated as he faced his final extremity of challenge.

His determination was set and strong to fulfil his vow to do His Father’s will, motivated by His goodness and knowing that the Father esteemed his sacrifice as precious in His sight.

How can I repay the LORD for all his goodness to me?
I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the LORD.
I will fulfill my vows to the LORD in the presence of all his people.
Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.
O LORD, truly I am your servant;  I am your servant, the son of your maidservant;
You have freed me from my chains.
I will sacrifice a thank offering to you and call on the name of the LORD.
I will fulfill my vows to the LORD in the presence of all his people,
In the courts of the house of the LORD—in your midst, O Jerusalem.   Psalm 116:12-14, 19

 He kept the vision of the time when all the human family would finally praise the Father, having been resurrected and healed from their unbelief and blindness.

Praise the LORD, all you nations; extol him, all you peoples.
For great is his love toward us, and the faithfulness of the LORD endures forever. Psalm 117:1-2

 He trusted in the sureness of his deliverance.
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good: his love endures forever.
In my anguish I cried to the LORD, and he answered by setting me free.
The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid.  What can man do to me?  The LORD is with me; he is my helper….
I will look in triumph on my enemies.  Psalm 118:1, 5-7

He saw the future conversion of his people Israel, when they would mourn the one they pierced, when they will finally say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD.’  He saw the time when they would finally see the blessing that God shone upon them through His Son. And he rejoiced in the willing surrender of their lives to the Father, a foreshadowing of when all the human family would come to the same appreciation.  Philippians 2;   Jeremiah 31……..The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone;  The LORD has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes.
This is the day the LORD has made;  Let us rejoice and be glad in it.
O LORD, save us; O LORD, grant us success.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.  From the house of the LORD we bless you.
The LORD is God, and he has made his light shine upon us.
With boughs in hand, join in the festal procession up to the horns of the altar.
You are my God, and I will give you thanks;  You are my God, and I will exalt you.
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.  Psalm 118:22-29