Yesterday I heard an incredibly awesome take on 1 John 3:16. Our Chaplain is a really creative man and, during yesterdays sermon (we’ve been navigating through 1 John for weeks now), he illuminated that verse in a way I’d never heard it before. It really blessed me – so allow me to share with you the truth of 1 John 3:16 “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down His life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.” Chap broke down the middle part to: Jesus Christ. Laid Down. His Life. For Us.
- Jesus Christ: Savior – Messiah – Son of God – Yahweh – Beginning and the End – Immanuel – Holy One – King of Kings – Shepherd – The Way – I AM
- Laid Down: Submitted – Gave Up – Offered – Sacrificed – Chose to Give – Humbled Himself
- His Life: Everything – All He Had – Personal Comfort – Physical Body – Riches of the World – His Blood
- For Us: Sinners – Ambivalent – Indifferent – Evil – Filthy Rags – Careless – Dust
Jesus Christ – the one who has more than anyone else to give in the first place; gave it all up – everything; for us – a people who rejected Him, mocked Him, scorned Him, and hated Him. He had no guarantee that anyone would accept what He did on the cross, or that they would even recognize it for the act of love that it was … and IS! Think about it, how many people do you know that are indifferent at best to Christ’s Crucifixion? How many people do you come across who deny that it even happened? Jesus Christ gave himself over to death knowing full well who He was doing it for. And yet He still did it. Love.
The verse goes on to say that we are to do the same for our brothers. Break down that part for yourselves. It’s convicting. We (the filthy, indifferent dust rags) are to laid down (give – sacrifice) our lives (everything we have) for our brothers (everyone else in the world … and most importantly – Jesus). Jesus Christ is our brother!! “In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ…” Ephesians 1:5 We are adopted children of God – Jesus is the Son of God… He is our brother!
Have you been giving up all you have for Jesus? Yea, me neither… But let’s start trying! It won’t be easy – it’s a sacrifice – but Jesus Christ is worth the cost.