John 15:13 NRSV
13 No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
Jesus laid down his life for his friends when he willingly went to the cross. For you and for me. Would you be willing to do the same?
Our culture lifts up heroes – those who help those who can’t help themselves, or who are in trouble. Sometimes those heroes help strangers, but they always stand by their friends, no matter what. I think of Harry Potter, and his two best friends, Hermione and Ron, in the famous Harry Potter book and movie series. When JK Rowling created these characters, she was intentional about making them appear ordinary (well, as ordinary as wizards could be!), and flawed, but ultimately good people who knew the difference between right and wrong.
In The Goblet of Fire, Harry nearly dies saving a friend’s sister, an innocent young girl, but then is unable to save another friend, who dies right in front of him. We can relate to that helpless feeling, and that feeling of fear when we feel like there’s nothing we can do. We say to ourselves, “If only I had been quicker, if only I had seen that coming, if only….” But we need to pick ourselves up and just keep going. We have another chance to get it right or do a better job next time. With God’s help.
You may not be a Harry Potter fan, but I think you can relate to the idea that we do what it takes to help a friend, even if it means giving up our own lives.
Jesus was the ultimate role model for us. He showed us just how much he loved us by laying down his own life to save all of us, his friends. Do the same for yours.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, help us to show our friends how much we love them by laying down our lives for them. As we move closer to Easter, help us to see how we can help others, and show our friends the kind of love you modeled for us. In Your Holy name, Amen.