True Sacrifice

Bill Crowder
Redeemed Devotional from Our Daily Bread
“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in His love. 11I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14You are my friends if you do what I command.” (John 15:9-14)
Eric was one of the good guys. As a police officer, he saw his work as service to his community and was fully committed to serving at all costs. Evidence of this desire was seen on the door of Eric’s locker at the police station, where he posted John 15:13.
In that verse, our Lord said, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”  Those words, however, were not merely noble ideals. They expressed Eric’s commitment to his duty as a police officer—a commitment that demanded the ultimate price when he was killed in the line of duty. It was a real-life display of the heart of true sacrifice.
Jesus Christ lived out the powerful words of John 15:13 within hours of stating them. The upper room event where Jesus spoke of such sacrifice was followed by His intimate time with the Father at Gethsemane, a series of illegal trials, and then his crucifixion before a mocking crowd.
As the Son of God, Jesus could have avoided the suffering, torture, and cruelty. He was utterly without sin and did not deserve to die. But love, the fuel that drives true sacrifice, drove Him to the cross for every one of us. As a result of His sacrifice, we can be forgiven if we will accept His sacrifice and resurrection by faith.
Have you trusted the One who laid down His life for you? If you have, it will be manifested through the way you fulfill the rest of the passage above. Jesus says, “Love one another as I have loved you.” Then He says, “You are my friends if you do what I command.”
Only Jesus, the perfect sacrifice, can declare guilty people perfect; and only He can empower them to fulfill His commands.