My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
A Heroic Deed
Battlefield bravery—a soldier gives up his life to save the lives of his fellow soldiers. We hear of medals being awarded for such behavior. The soldier is part of a team, bonded by common goals and motivated by respect and love for his comrades. Such acts are rare events in our world.
The soldiers whose lives were saved remember the heroic deed the rest of their lives. Wouldn’t we do the same?
Someone did die to save our lives—someone by the name of Jesus Christ! In our case, though, there were two significant differences that take the sacrifice far beyond anything else that has taken place here on earth. Jesus died for all the people who ever lived on earth. Everyone was a sinner; all had broken God’s commands. Each of us by our nature was not a friend of Jesus. We were the enemy. What kind of love is it that would have Jesus die for his enemies?
And what about the effect of Jesus’ death for us? He did not die to lengthen our life here on earth. By his death, Jesus gave us eternal life. He turned us from enemies into friends. Jesus took our sins on himself so that we can spend eternity with him in heaven. To that end, we look forward. For here and now, we hear his command: Love each other as I have loved you.
Lord Jesus, help me this day to be willing to selflessly love the people in my life the way you selflessly loved me when you paid for my sins on the cross. Amen.