The mind of Christ?  What does that mean?


Each of us has a mind.  But where is it? 


"O, simple!  It's my brain.  That 's my mind.  Hit my brain with a sledge hammer, and my mind will never be the same."


Sounds logical.  So what happens to your mind when your body dies?  Is that "it"?


When Jesus died on the cross, was his mind gone until the resurrection? 


Peter tells us that between Jesus' death and his resurrection he preached to the spirits that were in prison on the other side of death; that his mind was active, even while his brain was lying dead in the tomb.  


Not long ago Time Magazine devoted an entire issue to the science of the human brain.  It was all very scientific.  Sandwiched between all the exciting discoveries and theories about the brain was a brief article written by an orthopedic surgeon who had had a patient whose brain cancer had spread through his whole body, including his hip. 


David, the patient, had reached his final hours.  It was a Friday night.  Doctor Scott Haig came into the hospital room to check on David's hip.  It was an uncomfortable formality, performed while David's wife and children were gathered in the room waiting for the end.  David's breathing had descended into the "death rattle." 


Carol, David's wife, followed the doctor out of the room and quietly asked, "Doctor, where is David now?"  i.e.  Is he in that devastated body, that brain which is ravaged with cancer, or is he somewhere else?   "I'm not sure where he is," answered the doctor, "but I'm pretty sure where he's going."  That was the best the doctor could do for her.


The next morning as Dr. Haig made his rounds, he noticed that the room where David had been was empty.  Just then a nurse, an older Irish lady blocked the doctor's path.

"He woke up, you know, Doctor---just after you left last night---and said goodbye to them all.  Like I'm talking to you now!  Like a miracle!  He talked to them, patted them, smiled for about five minutes.  Then he went out again, and passed in the hour." 


The doctor's eyebrows went up.  He found that hard to believe.  Two weeks later Carol approached Dr. Haig in the hospital lobby.  "God bless you, Doctor!  Thank you for all your help." 


"Carol," asked the doctor, "did David….."  She knew what he was about to ask, and chimed in, "O yes he did!  He sure did!"  And he believed her. 


So how did Dr. Haig explain this to himself?  Here's what he wrote: 

"It wasn't David's brain that woke him up to say goodbye that Friday.  His brain had already been destroyed……What woke my patient up that Friday was simply his mind, forcing its way through a broken brain, a father's final act to comfort his family." 


The brain is mush.  But the mind is coming free.  It's alive!


You have a mind.  I have a mind.  Our mind inhabits our entire body.  But it's much more than our body.   Now what happens when our mind, with all its limitations and attitudes and sins, becomes indwelt by the mind of Christ?


Let's go back and take a fresh look at Jesus.  No human being born on this earth has had the impact on history that Jesus of Nazareth has had.  And, as he himself predicted, it has not all been good.  All kinds of religious trappings have gathered around the name of Jesus, have twisted his words into just another self-righteous religion. 


A religion over which wars have been fought.  Men and women have been burned at the stake.  Synagogues have been destroyed.  People have been tortured. All in the name of Christianity.  Right down to this hour we see the damage done, the suffering and death imposed on innocent people, because Christians were told from a thousand pulpits to vote for a man who promised  that he was keeping them safe by invading a sovereign nation.


All this negative impact, down through the centuries is the result of the misuse of Jesus' name.  Using his name without having his mind.

"Not every one who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven."

            (To do the will of the Father you have to have the mind of the Son.)

"On that day many will say to me, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?'  And then will I declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from me, you evildoers.'"

                                                            Matthew 7:21-23

 And yet, while all this evil has been taking place through the misuse of Jesus' name, miracles on the positive side have been happening as well---through people who not only use Jesus' name, they have his mind.


"Not every one who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven."  Fact: to do the will of the Father, you have to have the mind of the Son.


"He who abides in me and I in him, he it is who bears much fruit---she it is who bears much fruit---for apart from me you can do nothing."

                                                            John 15:5


And to abide in him, and he in us, is to have his mind.  


Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind.

                                                            Romans 12:2


The mind is renewed when it finds its way into his mind.


Down through all the bloody centuries to this hour there have been people whom Jesus calls the light of the world.  They have no halos around their heads.  They are far from perfect.  But they have life inside them.  They are indwelt by the Risen Lord!


             Christ in you, the hope of glory       Colossians 1:27


            I am crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.

                                                                        Galatians 2:20


He lives in them in one clear way:  they have his mind.  Their minds are indwelt by his mind.  


Millions of people claim to be Christians. 


Of course I believe in Jesus!

I go to church.

I give to charity.

I live a clean life.


But do we have his mind?  Does the mind of the Crucified and Risen Lord Jesus---


inform my decisions?

guide my thoughts?

inspire my prayers?

convict me when I'm going the wrong way?


Jesus did not come here to start a new religion---to found Christianity!  Jesus came here to be the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the whole world (all people) by his bloody death. 


He came here to open for us the door to God's world through his resurrection power, calling us to be his disciples.  So that he can actually live in us and give us his mind!


Just as surely as the Spirit of the Lord Jesus surrounds you as you read these words, so surely he is able to give you a new mind: his mind.  

Do not be conformed to this word but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God.                                                Romans 12:2

 Our brains may not be disabled as David's was in that hospital room.  But our minds are distracted, distorted, cluttered, by constant input from the world around us.  To have a renewed mind, a clear mind, a mind that thinks in parallel with God's mind, is to have the mind of Christ.


And to receive the mind of Christ we need to step down from our vanity, our self-promotion, our preoccupation with ourselves, and get in sync with his mind.  And, make no mistake, to get in sync with the mind of Christ does take some stepping down!

Have this mind among yourselves, which you have in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.  And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross.

                                                                        Philippians 2: 5-8

 Emptied himself of his glory.

Gave up his divine prerogatives.

Became a helpless baby.

When he grew up, he humbled himself some more and became obedient unto death.


Get in sync with that mind, and the Spirit of God will enter your mind and renew it.  When you follow Jesus down from glory to servanthood with your mind, when you begin to think like he does---think with the mind of a servant, like he does---then God will lift you up, even as he lifted up his Son.

Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.         Philippians 2:9-11

 The day is coming when, at the name of Jesus, every knee will bow.  There will be no doubt in anyone's mind.  No argument.  No rebellion.  We will all be on our faces before blinding holiness---unspeakable love.  Angels.  Humans.  Demons.  All on bended knee, overwhelmed with awe and true worship.


But at this hour the name of Jesus is still largely misused.

"Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?"

   "I never knew you.  Depart from me, you evildoers."


His name was on their lips, but their minds were void of his presence.  They did not have his mind. 


So the question for us at this moment is:  Where are our minds?


            Are they in sync with his mind?


Is his mind guiding us,

comforting us,

correcting us,

empowering us to do the will of our Father who is in heaven?


For what other reason did he die on that cross and rise again?


Why else is his Spirit flooding you with his presence as you read these words?


So that you don't have to be conformed to this world, with its lust and greed and deceit and bitterness.  You do not have to think that way!


So that you can be transformed by the renewal of your mind.  Indwelt by his mind.


So that you can rise up even today, ruled from within by the One who emptied himself of his glory, took the form of a servant, humbled himself and became obedient unto death.


Ruled from within by that mind, you will bring healing to that sick world out there, and hope to every life you touch.  


Lord Jesus, enter me afresh.

Renew my mind with your mind, even now.

Keep me under your yoke,

so that the powers of the world to come

may flow as healing water from my life.