Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
So yeah, Jesus said that. And, for a very long time, the straightforward meaning was good enough for me. Jesus meant that He was going to sacrifice Himself, to go the cross to die for His friends. He was willing to give up His earthly existence to save His friends. But, this morning, as I’m coming back into my body and really not wanting to be here, the word that comes to me is “sacrifice”.
Sacrifice is giving something up to attain something else, a greater good that might or might not benefit you personally. I’ve always said I would lay down my life for my wife or for my girls. That’s always been a no brainer. No hesitation there. I would trade places with Shayna in a heartbeat. I would die so that she could live longer if it were in my power. I would make that sacrifice.
I was talking with a friend the other day. She’s just a bit older than Kayla. She shared with me how her father passed recently and how she misses him and wishes he were still here to share her life with her and to guide her. I’ve been mulling that over the last few days. Kayla is 19 now. She’s moving into her first apartment in just a week. By many measures, she’s already grown. Does she need me anymore? How much longer do I need to stay around for her? How much longer do I need to stay around for Tywana? This morning it comes to me.
If we accept that Jesus was pre-existent before coming to this place and He came here and endured what he did for 33 years, what was the real sacrifice? Was it “dying”? From everything I’ve learned, dying is easy. Dying is returning Home. It’s “living” here that is hard. Jesus gave up everything to come here, to live with the pain and the frustration of being human. Jesus had His cousin and best friend, John the Baptist, murdered and had to live with that. Being here had to be full of pain for Him. What if laying down His life wasn’t going to the cross, but choosing to leave Home to come here? What if His sacrifice was every day He lived here with full knowledge of what He was sacrificing by being here? Would I make that sacrifice?
Many have said (oh, no I sound like Trump) that we are here for a purpose. There are those who say a major shift is happening and light workers are needed to be here at this time. Maybe I’m one of those. Maybe not. But, I do know that I have a purpose to be here for Kayla and for Tywana.
Most reading this will not get that living here can be a sacrifice. Some will The more our eyes are opened to our true nature and our true Home I think the more we long to be who back to who we truly are and back where we truly belong. But, we’ve got to hang in there and lay down those lives for our friends here.