Jesus said: “I am the good shepherd. A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. A hired man, who is not a shepherd and whose sheep are not his own, sees a wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away, and the wolf catches and scatters them. This is because he works for pay and has no concern for the sheep. I am the good shepherd, and I know mine and mine know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I will lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. These also I must lead, and they will hear my voice, and there will be one flock, one shepherd. This is why the Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down on my own. I have power to lay it down, and power to take it up again. This command I have received from my Father.”
Jesus tells us in the Gospels that there is no greater Gift than for one to lay down their life for another (John 15:13). And, as always, Jesus leads us by example by going to Cross in order to Redeem creation from its sins. Jesus died for you, me, and every single person that was ever created – even for the millions of babies that are aborted each year who never really see an earthly life beyond their Mother’s wombs. Jesus laying down His life for us is the only thing that really matters. His death and resurrection destroyed death once and Forever. Jesus’ Gift does have a clause, however; in order to reap the rewards of His Gift, we have to accept It (Him) in our hearts and then do the same exact thing that He did – we must lay down our lives for Him. While there are roughly 200,000 Christian Martyrs per year today that die for their Faith, Jesus isn’t Calling for all of us to run out tomorrow into a Christian-persecuting-type of environment and proclaim His Name to anyone that we find. While many of us will actually do that, Jesus is simply Asking all of us for a complete and Spiritual surrendering to Him. Jesus wants us to die to the world; to die to sin. Years ago, I had a dream where Jesus was floating above me as an orb of Light while He kept telling me to surrender/die to Him. It was very real and I was awake while actively-thinking in my dream; I knew that, if I surrendered to Him right there, I might truly-die to everything else…and, honestly it was a little scary for me. None of us can surrender/die exactly like Jesus did (perfectly), but we can sure make a solid effort to do so…each and every day. While Jesus is the Ultimate Hero of Eternity, we, too, are all heroes – whether or not we see or feel that. Sure – we all have our ups and downs, but we can’t let the devil make us think anything less of ourselves – we’re all heroes to somebody, somewhere. We’re God’s perfect creations operating in an imperfect world and there is a cloud of Believers in Heaven who will Witness to our heroic natures while they are cheering us on from Above (Hebrews 12:1). So, let’s do our best to surrender our lives to Jesus and become the heroes that He Designed us to be. By dying to this world, Jesus Promises us that we will live Forever in Him.