“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13)

As a young kid, I remember thinking, “I don’t think I could ever die for something.” I admired the great heroes of the past who had died to save others, but I knew that I didn’t have it in me. 

Fast-forward a few years to when I was a young adult, and I remember feeling conflicted. “I can imagine myself dying for someone or something, but then I’d be dead, and I’d be useless, so what good would it do?”

Now, as an adult, I know exactly what I’d die for. As a mother, I know with 100 percent certainty that I would exchange my life for the life of one of my kids. I’d do it in a heartbeat. I wouldn’t need to think it over. I wouldn’t regret it. 

Ah, how far I’ve come. But that doesn’t mean I’ve stopped grappling with the big What-Ifs. At this point in my spiritual maturity, there’s a part of me that says, “It’s easy to sacrifice myself. But, to sacrifice my child…I don’t know if I could do that.”

Would you? Could you do what Abraham did that day when he bound Isaac’s hands and feet and unsheathed his knife? This is an entirely different dimension to faith, wouldn’t you say? Sacrificing my life would be terrible, but sacrificing my child’s life would be unbearable.

One day, it hit me. God did both. 

He sacrificed Himself AND He sacrificed His Son, too. He knows first-hand what both are like. He was willing to do both of those scary, painful, unbearable acts—to redeem me and you.

I marvel at His love! How much does He value us? How unworthy are we of this great gift?

Part of me grieves for the pain and suffering that Jesus Christ endured. To stop myself from getting too sad, I try to remind myself of what happened AFTER God did both. (On the third day after, to be exact.)

A new day. Morning breaks the eastern sky, and light casts out darkness. 

A new life. Eternal life for those who are covered by the blood of Christ.

A new covenant. A law of love and hope reigns on earth. “This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.”

The night doesn’t go on forever. 

Death doesn’t get the last word. 

Temporary sorrow is swallowed up in eternal joy. 

The gospel is worth dying for—and living for. Thank God that He showed us how to do both. 

This article has undergone ministry review and approval.

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