I love the opening of this chapter, Be imitators of Christ. Simple words, very difficult reality... or so we think. I have had the joy of spending some extended time with my family these past few days. I love watching my children as they play together, and with other members of the family. One of the games that gets played often is copy cat. One of the kids will decide to mimic everything the other does. While it builds great frustration with children, that is exactly what we are called to do as followers of Christ.
I have heard people say they would do what Christ did/does, if only they could clearly know what Christ has shown us to imitate. I really want to just slap those people. We do know how Christ functioned, we know what it is that Christ did and what we are to imitate. All we must do is read the Gospel accounts of Scripture. Now these are not an exhaustive look at the life and work of Christ, but we get a pretty good idea of what Christ was all about.
The death and resurrection of Christ is a crucial part of the picture. Without the death, there is not atonement for our sins, without the resurrection, Jesus is just another man hung on the Roman cross. Still, the most important aspect of the Gospels is found in how Jesus lived. Who Jesus spent time with, where he hung out. Most religious people and the established church hated Jesus. Hummmmmmmmm. Imitating Christ means doing what Christ is doing. Are we?