Go Back   Point Man Ministries > Open Chapel
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Open Chapel For visiting

Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 01-27-2010, 03:18 PM
Posts: n/a
Cross Glow Lg Clr 2 The sacrificial general

“In the same way, the Son of Man did not come to be served.
He came to serve others and to give his life as a
ransom for many people.”

Matthew 20:28

The decision had been made. The troops had been deployed and the battleships were on their way. Nearly three million soldiers were preparing to slam against Hitler’s Atlantic wall in France. D-Day was set in motion. Responsibility for the invasion fell squarely on the four-starred shoulders of General Dwight D. Eisenhower.
The general spent the night before the attack with the men of the 101st Airborne. They called themselves The Screaming Eagles. As his men prepared their planes and checked their equipment, Ike went from soldier to soldier offering words of encouragement. Many of the flyers were young enough to be his sons. He treated them as if they were. A correspondent wrote that as Eisenhower watched the C-47s take off and disappear into the darkness, his hands were sunk deeply into his pockets and his eyes were full of tears.
The general then went to his quarters and sat at his desk. He took a pen and paper and wrote a message—a message which would be delivered to the White House in the event of a defeat.
It was as brief as it was courageous. “Our landings … have failed … the troops, the Air, and the Navy did all that bravery and devotion to duty could do. If any blame or fault attaches itself to the attempt it was mine alone.”
It could be argued that the greatest act of courage that day was not in a cockpit or foxhole, but at a desk when the one at the top took responsibility for the ones below. When the one in charge took the blame—even before the blame needed to be taken.
Rare leader, this general. Unusual, this display of courage. He modeled a quality seldom seen in our society of lawsuits, dismissals, and divorces. Most of us are willing to take credit for the good we do. Some are willing to take the rap for the bad we do. But few will assume responsibilities for the mistakes of others. Still fewer will shoulder the blame for mistakes yet uncommitted.
Eisenhower did. As a result, he became a hero.
Jesus did. As a result, he’s our Savior.
Before the war began, he forgave. Before a mistake could be made, forgiveness was offered. Before blame could be given, grace was provided.
The one at the top took responsibility for the ones at the bottom. Read how Jesus describes what he came to do.
“The Son of Man did not come to be served. He came to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many people.”
The phrase “Son of Man” conjured the same images for the Jew of Christ’s era that the title “general” creates for you and me. It was a statement of authority and power.
Consider all the titles Jesus could have used to define himself on earth: King of kings, the great I AM, the Beginning and the End, the Lord of All, Jehovah, High and Holy. All of these and a dozen others would have been appropriate.
But Jesus didn’t use them.
Instead, he called himself the Son of Man. This title appears eighty-two times in the New Testament. Eighty-one of which are in the gospels. Eighty of which are directly from the lips of Jesus.
To understand Jesus we need to understand what this title means. If Jesus thought it important enough to use over eighty times, it is certainly important enough for us to explore.
Few would argue that the title is rooted in Daniel 7, a text which is just one frame of a cinematographic masterpiece. The seer is afforded a seat in a theater that features a peek at the future powers of the earth. The empires are portrayed as beasts: rabid, hungry, and vicious. The lion with the eagle’s wings stands for Babylonia, and the bear with three ribs in its mouth represents Medo Persia. Alexander the Great is symbolized by a leopard with four wings and four heads, and a fourth beast with iron teeth represents Rome.
But as the scenes unfold the empires fade. One by one the world powers tumble. At the end the conquering God, the Ancient of Days, receives into his presence the Son of Man. To him is entrusted authority, glory, and sovereign power. Picture him blazing white. Atop a gallant steed. A sword in his hand.
To the Jew the Son of Man was a symbol of triumph. The conqueror. The equalizer. The score-settler. The big brother. The intimidator. The Starship Enterprise. The right arm of the High and Holy. The king who roared down from the heavens in a fiery chariot of vengeance and anger toward those who have oppressed God’s holy people.
The Son of Man was the four-starred general who called his army to invade and led his troops to victory.
For that reason when Jesus spoke of the Son of Man in terms of power, the people cheered.
When he spoke of a new world where the Son of Man would sit on his glorious throne, the people understood.
When he spoke of the Son of Man who would come on the clouds of heaven with great power and authority, the people could envision the scene.
When he spoke of the Son of Man seated at the right hand of power, everyone could imagine the picture.
But when he said the Son of Man would suffer … the people stood silent. This didn’t fit the image … it’s not what they expected.
Put yourself in their place. You’ve been oppressed by the Roman government for years. Since your youth you’ve been taught that the Son of Man would deliver you. Now he’s here. Jesus calls himself the Son of Man. He proves he is the Son of Man. He can raise the dead and still a storm. The crowds of followers are growing. You are excited. Finally, the children of Abraham will be set free.
But what’s this he’s saying? “The Son of Man did not come to be served. He came to serve others.” Earlier he’d told them, “The Son of Man will be handed over to people, and they will kill him. After three days, he will rise from the dead.”
Wait a minute! That’s an impossible, incredible, intolerable contradiction of terms. No wonder “the followers did not understand what Jesus meant, and they were afraid to ask him.” The king who came to serve? The Son of Man being betrayed? The Conqueror—killed? The Ambassador of the Ancient of Days—mocked? Spit upon?
But such is the irony of Jesus wearing the title “the Son of Man.” It is also the irony of the cross. Calvary is a hybrid of God’s lofty status and his deep devotion. The thunderclap which echoed when God’s sovereignty collided with his love. The marriage of heaven’s kingship and heaven’s compassion. The very instrument of the cross is symbolic, the vertical beam of holiness intersecting with the horizontal bar of love.
Jesus wears a sovereign crown but bears a father’s heart.
He is a general who takes responsibility for his soldiers’ mistakes.
But Jesus didn’t write a note, he paid the price. He didn’t just assume the blame, he seized the sin. He became the ransom. He is the General who dies in the place of theprivate, the King who suffers for the peasant, the Master who sacrifices himself for the servant.
As a young boy, I read a Russian fable about a master and a servant who went on a journey to a city. Many of the details I’ve forgotten but the ending I remember. Before the two men could reach the destination they were caught in a blinding blizzard. They lost their direction and were unable to reach the city before nightfall.
The next morning concerned friends went searching forthe two men. They finally found the master, frozen to death,face down in the snow. When they lifted him they found the servant—cold but alive. He survived and told how the master had voluntarily placed himself on top of the servant so the servant could live.
I hadn’t thought of that story in years. But when I read what Christ said he would do for us, the story surfaced—for Jesus is the master who died for the servants.
He is the general who made provision for his soldiers’ mistakes.
He is the Son of Man who came to serve and to give his life as a ransom … for you.

From “And the Angels Were Silent” by Max Lucado
Reply With Quote

eisenhower, general, jesus, max lucado, sacrifice

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 05:35 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
PmimChat.com © copyright 2003-2019 All rights reserved. Content published on PmimChat.com requires permission for reprint.