Pride and the Resurrection

It is easy to think too highly of one’s self. I am always humored by this in some people. One of my best friends will always say about someone who believes himself better than is that he, “Thinks more highly of himself than he ought.” Pride is paralyzing and the antithesis of the Gospel message. When we believe ourselves better than we are—better than nothing—we miss the need that we have for a saving touch from our powerful Savior.

This time of the year we remember and celebrate the resurrection of our King, we should remember it was a lack of pride that provided our redemption. If anyone should thinking highly about Himself it would be the King of Kings. However, the Son of God humbled Himself to the point of death, even death on the cross. Therefore we should check our pride. Remove it. Kill it. Destroy it. It has no place in the life of the believer. Pride is the delighted statement that we know better than God and have no need for His ways. This must be vanquished from our thinking. Pastor Jonathan Dodson writes these words:

There is an antidote to pride, and it is not to think less of ourselves. Instead, we ought to dwell upon the God who did become one of us, who gracefully withstood our scorn and self-adulation. Jesus is the God who, in the face of pride, calls us to the cross. How can we be proud there, where our evil pins our God to a tree? In the midst of rejection, Jesus embraces our smugness and extends an accepting embrace. But we must look upon him. We must give up our self-made authority, and sense of accomplishment, if we are to receive his forgiving, awe-inspiring embrace.

Towering above the authority of Self, Jesus comes low — so low that his face is pressed to mortal bandages, to ensure the rescue of his persecutors. On Easter morning, he burst his grave clothes to give us a way out of our pride, to recover awe. The resurrection restores astonishment. It eats up our pride in soul-thrilling glory. The way out of pride is worship, to look upon a God who is greater than ourselves. We recover awe when we acknowledge the greatness of his sacrifice, the depth of our sin, and the height of his love — all in the person of Christ.

As we come to the cross, the place where our shame and sin were destroyed, we must come on our knees, humble before our God. We go to the cross remembering that the one who went there first, went there with a humble heart.

Jonathan Dodson is pastor of City Life Church in Austin, Texas, and author of the new book The Unbelievable Gospel: Say Something Worth Believing.

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