“I lay down my life for the sheep.”
John 10:15 (NIV)
“Greater love has no one than this:
to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”
John 15:13 (NIV)
Perhaps the most challenging aspect of the present pandemic is that we cannot be with loved ones because we find ourselves in lockdown. We cannot hold the hand of a dying loved one, we cannot hug our grandchildren or celebrate special occasions together. We long for what we are presently denied. So most, if not all of us, have a heart full of love for family and friends. Indeed, we believe we would die to save the life of a loved one.
Jesus taught us that the greatest love between people is seen when someone dies to save the loved one’s life. Nothing equals such a sacrifice. It makes us think of the brave soldiers in WW 1 and WW 2 who paid the ultimate price to ensure our freedom.
It would be a rare situation for any of us to lay down our life from love for another person. As children, married people and parents, we readily say we would die to save a loved one. When push comes to shove, we know we would willingly lay down our lives for those we love.
When Jesus takes the name “Good Shepherd” for Himself (John 10) He not only takes for Himself a name reserved for Yahweh (Psalm 23) He speaks of laying down His life for His sheep. No greater love can be found than this.
There are certain difficult times in life when many of us are tempted to momentarily doubt the Lord’s love for us. When Satan whispers lies in our ears, we need to look away from our situation to Golgotha and read the Gospel records of our Redeemers singular suffering and death for His people. We are exhorted in Scripture to fix our eyes on the Saviour (Hebrews 12:2) so that we will not become weary and falter.
Take a moment right now to read a story of your beloved Saviour in the Gospels, hear His words of love for you and calm your troubled spirit. Draw near to Him. Come and come now.
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.
– H. H. Lemmel