I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep- John 10:11
Scripture has at least 34 verses that mention dying for others. They are found from Genesis to 1 Peter and include John 3:16.
Are you willing and prepared to die for another? Would you willingly give your life away? Miraculously, this is a question every follower of Christ Jesus is asked. We are asked if we are willing to die to self, self-pride, self-promotion, selfishness and even who we think our self is. For after coming to Christ Jesus, we read in Galations 2:20,
I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.
“I” no longer live, me, myself and I. The selfish and me-focused is dead, because that must occur to be more like Him. He died for me. He is sinless. My sin nature, who I am in the flesh must also die for Him. When we consider this, dying for another is made most clear. The fear of death disappears. I am no longer focused on me, but on Him who died for me. My future, my eternal future is secured and the burden death can have no longer has the same grip on me.
It is like a fist, held so tightly that the knuckles turn white, never letting go of what I think I want, have, or need. He cannot give me anything, because I am unwilling to receive it. Only when I open my hand, the white knuckles disappear and only then can I begin to receive all the wonderful blessings He has for me.
We cannot be like Christ Jesus, unless we die to self.
As C.S. Lewis said, true humility is “not thinking less of ourselves, but thinking of ourselves less.”
Thinking of me less, and more about Christ Jesus is the first step to being more like Him and less like me. That transformation can be incredible, if we choose to commit to it. Won’t you?