People want to be valued.
Most of the time it doesn’t have to be much. A small gift. A note of appreciation. Asking a person for help because they have a skill set that you don’t have. Referring a person’s work to another. Expressing a positive review.
But sometimes the ultimate test for how much we value another person is if we are willing to give up our life for that individual. At times we hear stories like this one:
It was winter time when I was 10; my father and I were walking across the ice covering the canal across from his house, I believe we were going for lunch. Before I realized what was going on, the ice broke from under us, and after some time of struggling to stay afloat, someone had finally noticed us in the water, encircled with ice. The guy threw an extension cord out to us, my dad told me to grab hold of it, and he pushed hard on me to get me up on the ice so the guy could pull me to shore. As he pushed up on me, I looked back to see his face disappear under the water. That was the last time I ever saw him.
The ultimate expression of value is a willingness to give up our life for another. That’s a big deal. That’s a big expression of love.
But that’s what separates Jesus from others. He was willing to give up his life for his sheep. No matter how big the danger was or how challenging it was to face, he doesn’t run but embraces death, even death on the cross.
John 10: 15 says, “…and I lay down my life for the sheep.”
Perhaps we take this statement for granted, especially if you have been a Christian for many years. It seems pretty “neutral” to say, “Jesus died for me.” We perhaps don’t have the same emotional and memory connection if you were the child who’s last memory of your father was seeing his face disappear under the frigid water not to appear again.
He died so I could live…eternally.
Many stories of survival at the cost of another’s life leads the one who was saved to dedicate their life to the one who saved him or her. In essence, they are so appreciative of the value they were given that someone was willing to give up their life, they in turn desire to show value to the one who died for them by living their life fully to honor them. Same is true for our relationship with Christ. Consider 2 Corinthians 5:14-15 For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.
If you are every wondering if someone cares, look no further than the cross. For Jesus’ death on the cross shows you personally how much God values you, he had his Son die for you. When we understand the value God has placed on us, we can in turn share that value with others.
Apply: Give someone hope today…let them know how valuable they are to you and to God!
Prayer: Lord thank you for caring so much for me that you would give up your life for me. AMEN.