Putting on the Mind of Christ
“Can’t you see I am doing something new?” (Is 43:18-19). Jesus certainly knew the words of Isaiah. As he entered Jerusalem, I have no doubt he knew he was doing something new. I suspect he also knew that even after 3 years of trying to explain, the closest of his followers still did not understand how deep God’s love was.
How could he break through their preconceived notions? What was in Jesus’ mind as he did something so new that it literally changed our world? Holy Week is literally a week that changed the world!
So I asked…what was in the back of his mind as he rode the donkey, washed the feet of his disciples, etc.. in the week that literally changed our world.
Such questions are important if we take St. Paul seriously… “Put on the mind of Christ”, learn to think like Christ.
What follows is my attempt to think like Christ during Holy Week. What was going on in the back of his head? What was Jesus thinking?
Palm Sunday… Passover… Crucifixion… Resurrection
He tried so hard to teach them with many different stories that the kingdom of God is not like the kingdoms of this world. Yet now he allows himself for once to be treated like a conquering hero being welcomed in his capital city. Why?
Was he resigned to the fact that he would have to do something much more dramatic to break through their inability to understanding the many stories he told them of what life in the kingdom was like?
Perhaps it was necessary for them to express their hopes got a political Messiah. Challenged and dashed later in the week, perhaps they would finally wake up to seeing how new what he was doing.
Did he realize that they would have to see concrete proof that the Messiah was truly different, a suffering Messiah?
He had celebrated Passover with his inner circle before. Did he realize that it was necessary to literally show them what God meant by love? They knew the words, “love the Lord your God … and your neighbor as yourself.
If I wash their feet, maybe they will finally get the message about how they were to treat one another… just as God had treated them. He even tried to spell it out for them. “Do you understand what I have done?” I, whom you have proclaimed your Lord and master, have bent down as a lowly servant and washed their feet. This is what it means to love your neighbor as yourself.
Agony in the Garden
After the Passover meal he went to be with his father. His closest followers fell asleep. He knew he had to do something more drastic to explain the way God loved them and the way they were to love each other… WITHOUT LIMIT OR CONDITIONS.
So he accepted the mission to demonstrate the limitlessness of that love by suffering for them right before their eyes … and unto death. This would be the ultimate example of God’s love for them.
A horrible death
We all know the details of his suffering and death. But do we get the point? His suffering and death was the most dramatic way possible for God to show the meaning of limitless love.
His death marks God’s challenge to us to change our way of thinking. There could be no mistake that Jesus acts out God’s limitless love. He teaches us “love one another as I have loved you.” “Do this in memory of me” … and you too will rise to the fulness of life as I have.
For what is worth… this is what I think was on Jesus’ mind! (WWJT?) Is that what is on your mind?
PS I invite you to make your personal journeys of discovery of what Jesus was thinking. I am taking this next week to explore more possibilities about what Jesus was thinking. The next Vincentian Mindwalk will be Easter Sunday morning.
Click below for an audio version of this Vincentian Mindwalk.