“Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13
For Christians like me, Easter is a time of remembrance and reflection on the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. His death as payment for my sins and His resurrection as the doorway to the gift from God the Father: everlasting life through Him.
However for those who aren’t Christians or don’t even believe in (a) God, the words above attributed to Jesus are still worthwhile as a life principle. Whether you believe that the biblical account on the life and death of Christ is real or it’s just a fairy tale with moral implications, the storyline that He willingly laid down His life for mankind so that we could be reconciled with God, is a powerful allegory on how we all should demonstrate our love for one another. It also brings to mind these other words of Jesus on how we should love each other… the second greatest commandment: “Love your neighbour as yourself” Mark 12:31.
Regardless of your belief or faith or lack thereof, if we applied these principles in our everyday lives in our dealing with others, is there any doubt that the world would be a better place for all? It doesn’t even have to entail literally sacrificing our life for others, but just figuratively laying down our life by sacrificing our pride, ambitions, self-centeredness, selfishness, desires for others… for our wife, children, family members, friends, co-workers, etc. If before we spoke or acted, we considered treating others as we would want to be treated, regardless of what they did or said to us, (laying down our pride or need to be “right”), there would be less hate in our lives.
The simple message I have gotten from Easter this year is the sacrificial nature of love, which although manifested in the death of Jesus, doesn’t have to be based on any religion, ideology or philosophy. In fact, the Nike slogan works just as well: “Just do it”.