Crucified and Risen Leadership

Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Oh, sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.

Trembling is an overwhelming, almost uncontrollable, “natural” response to deep cold, fear, emotional exhaustion, or a vivid experience or image of a traumatic event.

We tremble when our body and our psyche huddle together against an excruciating reality.

This old hymn invites us to tremble at the reality of His cross: a combined realization of our sinfulness and his glorious righteousness.

There we see a reality like none other. God is forever revealed as pure sacrifice, true servant and best leader. We are also seen as valuable to Him, despite we are exposed as part of the brutally beastly systems. Our hearts appear as they are: selfish, assertive, aggressive, and brutal.

At the cross, the Satan of this world and of our hearts is unmasked. We see how small he is in his thinking and how deceived we have become.

We see our desire to play Satan’s stupid game to dethrone Christ. We see both Satan’s subtle and abusive words. We feel what God has had to put up with for so many millenniums. The bitter words, the abusive taunts, the constant resistance to the plans of God. The breaking of trust.

We are overwhelmed with God’s patience with Satan and with us.

Our bodies convulse with enmity to Satan and love to God. Genesis 3:15 gets fulfilled in us.

We lay trembling in submission, not cowering, but trembling in a deep confident submission, that this Lamb is our Lord.

Satan is cast out, he falls from heaven and from our own heart’s throne.

In that trembling, we see Barabbas and Satan as counterfeit leaders: never worthy of our worship.

We also get catapulted forward to our present time. We see that we will come to another momember of showdown: Armageddon.

The Lamb and Satan will again be positioned as the two great choices.

One leader and system promises freedom and gives it. The other promises freedom and tramples it with beastly control.

Several Adventist authors have helped me connect the Cross and Christ to modern leadership practices.

Stan Patterson’s work and lectures have helped me see the grab of beastly and kingly power that can influence even the church.

Dr. Gyeongchun Choi’s dissertation “Theological and missiological implications of supra-cultural leadership principles revealed in the revelation” has cemented in my mind a contrast between true and false leadership as seen in the lamb and beastly powers of revelation.

When we are tempted to cling to control, to lord it over, to use the status quo to abuse and not serve others; when we disregard the poor and needy, we are not doing it right. We need to relook to Jesus, bending over me, helping me, leading me, serving me and see in that the leadership toward others.

What Greenleaf (1977, Servant Leadership) said of Leo, a character in a book Journey to the East, can better be said of Christ, “the great leader is seen as servant first, and that simple fact is the key to his greatness….he was servant first because that was what he was, deep down inside. Leadership was bestowed upon a man who was by nature a servant. It was something given, or assumed, that could be taken away. His servant nature was the real man, not bestowed, not assumed, and not taken away. He was servant first” (pp. 7, 8)

Throughout the many posts in this 12-15 part series on beastly leadership I will use another non-Adventist resource to contrast servant and beastly leadership: Kuronen and Huhtinen (2016)  article Unwilling is Un-Leading: Leadership as Beastly Desire.

This “secular” article has helped me see that the desire for “beastly” leadership comes often from our own hearts desire and the “crowds” who want to form an “image” to a beastly desire, one that appeals to our corrupt and corrupting desires, to be beyond law and ethics, outside human experience.

There analysis is disturbing but I think mostly true. For most in the world “leadership is–deep down–a matter of meta-ethics. From the social perspective, the society that elevates someone to be at the helm of things makes its call for sovereignty precisely because it wants that someone to be beyond good and evil–above the vice of morality–and the herd instinct in man” (p. 104).

Oddly, Satan plays into that, toward corruption. Jesus, on the other hand, becomes one with the herd, but in so doing, rescues us from the law of sin and death.

“Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing at the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. The Lamb had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth” (Revelation 5:6; see also Rev 13:8).

Skillful in his submission and sacrifice, his incarnational leadership brings a triumphant movement of love.

With a clear vision of the Cross, we are able to see the power of the Resurrection. Jesus’ gift was accepted and we forever have a servant working on our behalf, as part of the herd.

We lose our appetite for the Barabbas and Satan style of leadership.

We accept a new type of authority based on the Cross and revealed in His work after the resurrection:

” Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:16-20).

My Prayer: “Jesus, be my leader. Oh feeble knees, respond to His authority of Love and Grace. But not trust in flesh or in Satanic lies.”

3 Replies to “Crucified and Risen Leadership”

  1. […] Crucified and Risen Leadership continues on to the Cross where the stark contrast of God’s love exposes the deep selfish, assertive, aggressive, and brutal nature of Satan and our own hearts in relationship to God’s style of leadership. I introduce a few Adventist author’s who have helped me see a better type of leadership and eschew Satanic leadership style of “lording” it over others. I also introduce the secular article by Kuronen and Huhtinen (2016) Unwilling is Un-Leading: Leadership as Beastly Desire, which inspire me to do this long series on servant vs beastly leadership. […]

  2. […] I also looked at how individuals can flourish despite beastly leadership by selecting Christ’s way instead of Barabbas’s approach. Barabbas tried to make change happen through “killing” and “deceiving.” This “beastly” approach to leadership works only temporarily and even then is starts to have serious side effects. Only when leaders are deeply shaped or even shaken by the pathos and tremendous gift of Christ on Calvary for sinners do they welcome  […]


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