Embracing the Divine Blend: Leadership Lessons from the Resurrection

This Resurrection Season prompts deep reflection on two defining aspects of leadership, exemplified in Christ's sacrificial death on the cross—an event unparalleled in the annals of history. I once heard a speaker describe the arc of leadership as spanning just 18 inches, oscillating between giving a pat on the back and a kick in the rear, depending on the situation. As someone who teaches leadership theory, I am keenly aware of the prevailing constructs emphasizing the need to balance task and people orientation. Like the Justice League, task-oriented leaders are focused on mission accomplishment, while people-oriented leaders prioritize fostering a supportive environment, like Culture Warriors.

In every prevailing leadership theory, leaders are encouraged to engage with followers as individuals, recognizing leadership's nuanced and highly contextual nature. Each day presents leaders with the delicate balance of mission and personnel, strategy and empathy, execution and understanding—a continuous negotiation between being right and being relational. The greatest act in human history provides a firsthand glimpse of the ultimate leader, who navigated these complexities in a manner even Satan couldn't have foreseen.

While Justice and Mercy may seem distinct and contrasting, they are not contradictory but complementary facets of the same truth. Viewing one without the other distorts reality profoundly. The root of our contemplation on these matters lies in one word: SIN. As a Quaker from the 17th century eloquently said, "There is nothing so contrary to God as sin, and God will not suffer sin always to rule his masterpiece, man." Thus, the ultimate offering of sinless blood to atone for humanity's sins.

God embodies the divine blend of Justice and Mercy, administering each in perfect measure according to individual circumstances. These seemingly opposing qualities, when harmonized, reveal the depth of God's character. Questions about a loving God condemning people to hell or allowing evil to persist betray a lack of immersion in Scripture, often serving as veiled attempts to evade accountability.

Every great leader recognizes the crucial balance between Justice and Mercy, whether in the home, family, government, military, or any institution. Without Justice, chaos ensues; without Mercy, legalism prevails. The events of Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday stand as eternal demonstrations of this perfect balance.

Jesus was the only suitable substitution to satisfy the law—a concept elaborated upon in the Old Testament. The principle dictates that the transgressor or a substitute must bear the penalty for breaking the law lest it lose its efficacy. Our current legal climate, marked by a reluctance to uphold laws, poses a grave danger. As leaders, we must uphold and respect the law, understanding its importance in maintaining order.

The blessed Resurrection season fulfills the promise made to Adam and Eve in the Garden (Genesis 3:15), culminating in Christ's sacrifice and ushering in the age of grace. Clarence Larkin's book, Dispensational Truth, offers profound insights into this transition, portraying Justice and Mercy conversing at the moment of sacrifice—a testament to the culmination of over 4,000 years of divine plan. 

As Larkin beautifully articulates, "And when the hour had come for the offering up of THE SACRIFICE, we see Justice say to Mercy, 'Where is He who over 4,000 years ago, in the Garden of Eden, offered Himself as a SUBSTITUTE for the sin of the world?' 'Behold Him,' said Mercy, 'coming up the hill bearing the cross (pg 49).'" 

As leaders, let us fix our gaze upon the cross this Resurrection Sunday, embracing the freedom from the curse of the law and endeavoring to emulate Christ's perfect blend of Justice and Mercy in our leadership journeys.



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