Jesus came as the Second Adam, the beginning of a new human race. And this means the restoration of men and women to their respective glories. This week I want to address men in particular, and Lord willing, next week I will address the women.
Men, you were created to be strong. You were created to work hard. You were created to sweat and bleed and die. You were created to study, consider, explore, evaluate, and then to focus your energy and strength to provide, protect, create, and lead your people. That’s all heroic sounding, and every boy dreams of growing up to be a hero like that. But life is messy, and men are sinners, foolish, selfish, arrogant, cowardly, and sometimes they’re just wrong and they make mistakes, sometimes real big ones.
And this is precisely where many men sin. They try to carve out safe space where they can be mini-heroes, or at least heroes in their own head, in their imaginations. They refuse to take risks because they are afraid of failure. They carve out tiny empires in their homes, in the garage, in the study, at work, and then they bluster and strut and take offense when they don’t feel like they’re getting the respect they deserve. They buy expensive toys that make them feel strong, but often this is no better than a little boy tying a cape around his neck and running through the hallways with his arms out.
But Jesus is a real man, the only real man. And He came and lived a sinless, perfect life. He was the only man who had the right to object to being treated poorly, and He didn’t. He was the only man who had the right to demand respect, and He didn’t. Instead, He fixed His eyes on the goal of His mission. He turned His face toward Jerusalem where He knew He would be betrayed by a friend, falsely accused, suffer greatly, and finally be executed for crimes He did not commit. He did this entrusting Himself to the One who sees all things and judges justly. In other words, He performed His duty with honor because He had faith in the God who raises the dead.
So what kind of man are you? Do you nurse your wounds? Do you marinate in regrets? Are you afraid of failure? Do you hide behind your toys? Your accomplishments? Are you easily angered? Easily offended? Easily get your feelings hurt when you think people aren’t respecting you?
You were made to worship God, to work hard to protect, to provide, to rule wisely, and then to die. You were made to give your life away gladly, freely, not demanding anything in return, not demanding respect, not demanding better pay, not demanding satisfaction. You were made to live by faith, trusting in the God who sees all things and always judges justly. In other words, you were made to die because you serve the God who raises the dead.