In our very affluent western societies, most people don’t like “losing face.” In fact, even when we know we have done wrong and it is really all our fault, we are still exceptionally good at excusing our mistakes. In fact, we will even accuse others of our mistakes (sins) if at all possible, so that we can save some face in the public eye. However, this is something of which we could never accuse Jesus.
The opening verses in John’s gospel remind us that at the very beginning the Word (none other than Jesus himself) was with God and was God. Through Him, all things were made. In Him was life and He was the light that shone in this dark world (John 1:1-5). And the Word, the thrice holy God, in the person of His Son, became flesh and dwelt among sinful human beings (v14).
Paul, when writing to the Philippians reminds us that even though Jesus was in the form of God, did not count equality with God as something to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, becoming obedient to the point of death, even death of a cross.
Despite the humiliation, the change of state of the Creator of the universe, Jesus wasn’t worried about losing face. Though He was sinless, pure, holy, a Lamb without blemish, He resolutely set His face towards Jerusalem, knowing it would mean His death. Though He had legions of angels ready to do his bidding at any moment He wished, He allowed himself to be stripped, beaten, mocked, spat upon, and nailed to a cross until He succumbed to an agonising death.
Jesus had every right to save face and point an accusing finger at mankind and exclaim, “It’s their fault. I AM innocent! They are the guilty ones.” But Jesus didn’t do that. On the contrary, the innocent One is sent to His death and all the Barabbas’s of this world can go free.
Sadly, many people are worried about losing face when it comes to their eternal salvation. “What will people think or say if they knew about my sin?” Who cares what people think or say when it comes to that! Hopefully, Christians will rejoice with the angels in heaven, indeed with Jesus himself as they see a sinner repent. What’s more, dear friend, is that Jesus knows about your sin and He stands ready to forgive upon confession and true repentance. So don’t worry about losing some face.
Rather, rejoice in the mercy and grace of God as you experience the Holy Spirit applying Christ’s saving work in your life, not least your forgiveness and eternal life in glory. That is all ours because Jesus wasn’t concerned about losing face for us. That is worth celebrating this Easter period. JZ