By: Undre Griggs, Jr.
Identical to us, Jesus Christ had the freedom to live a life of His choosing. Jesus could have lived a life seeking peace and prosperity, but instead, He chose to live a life of service. He focused on spreading the Gospel and making sure His disciples were prepared for a life without Him. His goal was to make sure each of us had the opportunity to join Him in heaven one day. Jesus endured suffering, ridicule, and torture because our sin. He lived a life of humility as a pattern for us to understand how we should live.
John 13:12-17 (ESV): When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.
Jesus withstood anguish because He wanted us to know how we ought to handle ourselves in similar situations. He wanted us to know how to interact with people we do not like, even those who wish ill on us. Jesus wanted to make certain we lived a life appreciating others more than ourselves. This sometimes requires us to be more patient than we would prefer, or it may require us being more forgiving than justified. Jesus asked Jehovah to forgive those who put Him on the cross, while He was hanging on the cross (Luke 24:14). Jesus was not concerned with being right or justified; He was concerned about the well-being of others.
Galatians 5:13 (ESV): For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.
Through His actions, we lose the ability to mistakenly live a self-centered life. Through His life, we are able to understand what it means to serve each other in love. Our service should be honest, patient, kind, and of a gentle heart. Our actions should be thoughtful, forgiving, and understanding of each other’s differences. We do not have to sacrifice our life on a cross, but we do have to sacrifice our time in service to each other. The most precious item we have at our disposal is our time. It cannot be replenished once it is exhausted, and how we use it speaks volumes about who we are. Let us be mindful our time on this earth is not promised, and live each day in service to each other.