I'm giving a talk tomorrow (Thursday) night on how Jesus' life and death on the cross are an example for us. This is the third talk in a series called the "Crystal Cross". The first week looked at how Jesus is our Substitution, the second at how Jesus is our Victory. It's fair to say I found the first weeks good reinforcement of stuff I'd thought about before. This third topic however (maybe given to me to preach through divine providence) is proving to be opening up a whole new part of the cross I am now realising I haven't thought about enough. This idea that Jesus is our example has been used in the past to deny that Jesus is our Saviour. But I think to neglect it actually sells short our understanding of who Jesus is and the life He calls us to live...

Anyway, part of my preparation has been reading Mark Driscoll and Gerry Breshears book Death by Love. This is proving to be a very excellent book (I will review it in the coming month). In the book, one of the things Driscoll argues is that Jesus was fully God but that he lived a perfect Spirit-filled/Spirit-led human life. This is why he is our great example. Because he lived a Spirit-filled life, which is the same sort of life we are called to live. I honestly have never thought of Jesus as being Spirit-filled before. I think unintentionally I've tended to see the Holy Spirit and Jesus as different parts of the God-head with different jobs and that that Jesus didn't need the Holy Spirit because he was Jesus, and we do need the Holy Spirit because we are not Jesus. But actually Jesus and the Holy-Spirit worked together in Jesus' life on earth just as the Holy Spirit works with us.

Some quotes:
A Spirit-filled perspective of Jesus allows us to remain Jesus-centred in our thinking, Spirit-led in our practice and humble in our hardships. This is made possible when we realise that because being Spirit-filled means being like Jesus, such things as poverty, sickness, and hardship are not incompatible with living a Spirit-filled life. Indeed, the most perfectly Spirit-filled person who has ever lived, Jesus Christ, worked a simple job, lived a simple life, and died a painful death as a flat-broke, homeless man by the power of the Holy Spirit and in so doing perfectly and fully glorified God the Father and tasted pure joy.

Jesus lived as a perfectly Spirit-filled human being to show us how to live. When Jesus was tempted by the Devil, he didn't respond as God. In fact, that was the very thing the Devil tempted him to do but he refused. Jesus countered the Devil's temptations just as we do: he quoted well-interpreted Scripture and commanded the Devil to get away from him. Hebrews reminds us that Jesus can sympathise with our weaknesses because he was tempted in every respect as we are, yet without sin (Heb 4:15)

I need to find the time to seriously check the bible out on this, but I'm going to have to work something out in the next 24hrs ready for my talk and study. I don't want to get up confused and therefore confuse everyone. I need to work out things clearly in my head. Perhaps some questions will need to be postponed until a later date. Questions like these:
  • Did Jesus need the Holy Spirit in order to live a sinless life as a man?
  • What is our status before God if we are living by the power of the Holy Spirit?
  • Do churches create unhelpful expectations of failure by preaching all about how we are sinners in need of a saviour and not enough about how we are saved and given power by the Holy Spirit to live like Jesus, the perfect Spirit filled man?