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Easter provides the example of the leader we really need

The following opinion article was published in the Des Moines Register on Sunday, March 31, 2024.

By Greg Baker, executive vice president of The FAMiLY Leader and founding director of its Church Ambassador Network.

As war rages in places like Ukraine and Israel, as Washington grows more divided and dysfunctional with each passing day, as inflation wields a greater and greater impact on our families, our world is crying out for a leader — yet not a leader who looks out for his own interests, but rather the interests of others.

The Easter season is an incredible reminder of what true leadership, sacrifice, and humility is. For in His death, Jesus provides the example of a king who held all power yet laid down all He had for His people. In this, Jesus is not only an example for our world leaders, but for all of us and for generations yet to come.

When Christ entered this world, He was fully God and man. He was fully a king, a king of kings, an emperor. He held all authority in His hands, yet this glorious King did not use His power for His own good, but rather for the good of His subjects, humankind. At Christmas, we celebrate how this King was not born in a palace in Rome, but in a feeding trough in an insignificant part of the Roman Empire. This king came for a different mission than most rulers. The Bible says specifically that the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve and lay down His life as a ransom for many.

Jesus throughout His life demonstrated to us that leadership has nothing to do with charisma, speech, glamour, ruling over people, or fame. Rather, Jesus demonstrated that leadership is about self-sacrifice, laying down your life for those you are called to lead. It is about lifting others up and not tearing down. It is about doing what is best for the people, rather than what is best for your career.

Jesus did not come so He could be commemorated by a statue in the National Mall. He came to free His subjects from their greatest oppressors: sin and death. He was willing to pay whatever the cost was for His people to be set free. The cost was His own life. On Good Friday, the King of Kings willfully laid down His life, paying the penalty of sin for us. On Easter Sunday, He defeated our greatest enemy, death.

Whether you are leading a world superpower, nation, state, city, business, classroom, or home, Jesus is your best example of leadership. God did not place you in this position of authority — whether it be over millions or a household — to use it for your own good. He placed you there to serve and lay down your life for those you lead.

As we look to put people in authority, we should beware being swayed by the outer appearance of the person or the person’s promises to serve our individual needs. Instead, we should look to the one who will do the best to serve their entire flock. Though these leaders are rare, we can take heart that there are many who do lead this way. We can take heart that the Jesus we celebrate this Easter is still a reigning King. And this reigning King holds all power and authority, and He will use it for your good.


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