Greater love hath no man than this,
that a man lay down his
life for his friends.
Christ showed us by His life that there is no greater gift than when another person lays down his life for us. We often look at the fallen solider when we think of a person that has truly laid down his life; there is an incredible sacrifice made by that soldier and his family. I have walked this road personally, but I would like to look a little deeper.
What other people have laid down their lives? Ministry is full of individuals who have given up many of life's dreams to serve others- from the pastors to the missionaries, and from the doctors to the nurses. If you have ever been to an ER, you know that these men and women have to be able to make life-saving decisions in a moment without faltering. What a huge undertaking! All that schooling and long hours of studying to help me feel better or to save my life. The police, firefighter, or paramedic that is standing by to help in a crisis- these first responders have also given up so much of their own lives for others, and they often feel the shock and awe of a very cruel world. They see people at their worst and it's not easy to leave their emotions behind.
When Christ laid down His life for ours, it was the ultimate sacrifice. While there are worse ways to die, Christ willingly chose to be crucified on a cross so that we could have eternal life. The soldier is similar to Christ because while he too would have liked that cup to be removed from him, they were about the father's will. We all have sacrificed parts of our lives for others, but to have laid down the very essence of life- to lay down the body we possess- the body that gives us breath, well, that is the greatest love.