In writing their gospel accounts, the book of Acts, and the New Testament letters to the early churches…in the moment…as the action in live history is all unfolding and openly observable to the Jewish and the Greco-Roman world…all around them in real time during the explosive growth of the early Christian church…these Christians are writing about the recent life and message of the historical person Jesus Christ…and not a literary fictional storyline of the young prince of Mark Twain’s book.
Is it plausible that these New Testament writers could take this real-life story a large step further in innovative imagination…and creatively invent the concept around the divine Son of God…not some ordinary fictional earthly prince…that in order to be able to show-up for the divine appointment on Calvary Hill…Jesus the Prince of Peace and the eternal Word of God…would have to be clothed in the divine humility of an undistinguished outward appearance…the carpenter from Galilee…as the God/man Passover sacrifice for our sins?
In this unique scenario at Calvary…the magnitude of the desperate endpoint goal dictates the brilliantly fine-tuned, extremely narrow means to get there.
The blood that Jesus sheds on the cross provides a perfect and complete atoning sacrifice for our sins. This enables blood-bought and Spirit-born Christians to be able to venture out into risked-filled adventures of faith after the pattern given to us in the Bible…with the full security and assurance of our salvation…so that we can get to know God on His terms…within His life-scripts written for our benefit.
When viewed in this light, the importance of the mission of Jesus and His appointed destiny at Calvary is incalculable.
The element of divine humility is an inseparable part…and the concept of the divine Son of God on the cross as the perfect sacrifice to enable us to be able to get to know God…meeting us precisely where we are in taking our place on the cross…becoming sin for our sakes who Himself had no sin…is simply above and outside of human literary invention in the first-century, and beyond the scope and reach of the humanistic genius of Mark Twain’s imaginative modern fictional book.
Stated another way…the prince in his regal clothing, royal carriage, and honor guard of armed soldiers…would never be crucified…but a lowly pauper…a humble carpenter-prophet from Nazareth…could be rejected and crucified without a second thought.
Paul writes in Ephesians 2:8-9…”For by grace are ye saved through faith; and not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
This fundamental biblical truth of salvation by grace through faith…and not self-works…which separates it from all other worldviews…is based four-square on the perfect sacrifice of the blood of the divine Jesus Christ on the cross.
But without the singular brilliance of the divine humility element in the mission and ministry of Jesus Christ…Jesus would never have made it to the cross.
This raises the critical question of how anyone other than God could write a life-script for Jesus Christ that takes Him all the way to the cross on Calvary Hill.
The low road of worldly humility is the narrow gate of Matthew 7:13-14…leading to the cross of Calvary…that Jesus Himself must walk through…in order to fulfill His unique life-script as the Passover Lamb of God sacrifice for sin…to the precise exclusion of all other worldly concerns and expectations.
To borrow the language from the intelligent design debate…the “body-plan” architecture of the life-script of Jesus Christ homes-in on and focuses upon the brilliant outcome of the cross and the resurrection…displaying foresight in its composition and masterful engineering in accomplishing its goal…that is breathtaking in its imaginative creativity.
Philippians 2:5-8 reads: “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus. Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”
The life, message, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ are a divine revelation at the top-most peak of complex, sublime, creatively innovative information…inserted into the contemplative reality of human thinking and actual lived-experience.
The cross of Jesus Christ (Lk. 22:42)…God displacing our way with His way…can be found ingeniously embedded within every narrative story of faith in the Bible.
This brings the extraordinarily unconventional Prince and the Pauper journey of divine humility into actuality…in some measure…into our own lives through what I call in this book “God-composed journey of faith life-scripts”…totally outside of the realm of worldly conventional normalcy and thinking.
In the fallen context of this world (Lk. 4:5-6)…divine humility is the one character trait that is perfectly immune and resistant to the temptations of the corruption of worldly power, wealth, and glory…and at the same time the one character trait in the perfect person Jesus Christ that will take Him…surprisingly (1 Cor. 2:8)…and us as well (Phil. 2:5)…all the way to and through the cross.
It is inconceivable that human literary insight would or could invent these two very subtle and sublime concepts within the life-script for Jesus Christ…considering that Mark Twain only went as far as the secular story of a prince exchanging places with a pauper as a lesson in worldly political leadership training…with neither the prince or the pauper in this story immune or resistant to worldly power, wealth, and glory…and neither one crucified for the sins of the world as the sinless, blemish-free, Passover Lamb of God.