If there was a list of lives to sign up for and I had the option to choose Warrior or Sacrificial Lamb, I would definitely choose Warrior. If you asked me if I’d rather fight or serve, I’d always choose fight and if you asked me if I’d rather have the spotlight or if I’d like to work behind the curtain I’d be the first one to pop out with jazz hands. I often wonder if it would be easier to be Christlike if he had been more of a traditional warrior?
I recently finished “Birds of Prey” by Wilbur Smith. Smith is one of those writers that creates a world that speaks to the heart of every man. Honor, courage, chivalry, passion, humility, trust; these are just a few of the traits that his characters portray, but most of all there is this underlying bond of love between the men that is only forged through trials and tribulations that are overcome together.
While reading “Birds of Prey” I couldn’t help but see traits of Christ in the many characters within the book. The father/son reltionship that the main characters Francis and Hal Courtney possessed is undeniably one of the best analogies of how our relationship with Christ should be. The love Hal possesses for his father is so great that he is desperate to please him. It made me wonder why I am not desperate to please Christ?
Smith’s characters are easy to love, they are warriors, masculine men of honor, strength, determination – these are the kinds of attributes that are easy for a man to get behind. But Christ did his battles behind the scenes. He spoke softly and was humble. He came to serve, not to be served and in the end he was crucified like a lamb led to the slaughter. At the end of Gladiator we cheered Maximus. He went down with a fight. At the end of the Passion of the Christ, we cried our eyes out, but I think in reality we should have been cheering.
Christ is atually the ultimate warrior. He took on sin and death on the Cross – and he won. He redeemed us from the law and with carefully executed maneuvers he saved all of humanity by killing only one man – himself. People, that’s baller!
In the end of The Passion of the Christ they should have played glorious music and showed Jesus in regal glory riding triumphantly on a magnificent white horse. I can see a sword in his hand raised as he rides on top of Golgatha where he was crucified and with one single wack of his sword he would slice the cross in half. If that had happened, the crowed would have cheered this greatest of victories.
The problem with my version of Christ’s grand finale is that it would not have been Christ-like, but it is the type of ending we all desire.
I’ve decided to rethink the image of who Christ is in my mind. I realized that I’ve often mistaken his poise and kindness as almost weak. I remember reading passages growing up and being frustrated with Christ’s willingness to just let them kill him, spit on him, abuse him. But what strength, my word, my impossilbe self-control he must have had not to look back at them for just one second and give them a hateful stare or to even scream out the words, “I’m doing this for you!” And then to just shed his chains and storm off in a huff.
I’m surprised that it took a book by Wilbur Smith to wake me up to this reality, but I am grateful for it. I’ve never really looked at Christ as a warrior with a sword blazing and arms and limbs flying all over the place, bodies stacking up in his wake – but I will now.