Debbie Salter Goodwin
Will You Really Lay Down Your Life?
It looks like small talk after the Passover meal. Jesus and his disciples talk while the women clear the table and set the room right. But there is nothing small about this talk.
Jesus knows that his time is limited. He does not waste his words. While the disciples were worried about the hypertension between Jesus and the religious rulers, Jesus focused on what his followers needed to know for the days that were coming.
Big, bumbling Peter tried to prove his dying allegiance. “I will lay down my life for you,” he says, grand standing a bit perhaps.
But Jesus called him on it. Will you really lay down your life for me?
We stand there with Peter saying words we want to mean and having no idea what it will take to live them.
It always sounds like a good idea when we make our promises to Jesus, or at least voice what we think is in our heart. We want our promises to be as true as we think we mean them in the moment.
But a declaration is not the laying down. The laying down addresses the will, not the want to.
It is as easy for us to run away from the laying down as it was for Peter to run away from the courtyard fire after realizing his want to and will were still miles apart.
The trouble with laying down our lives for Jesus doesn’t begin in the big moments. It begins in the little ones. They feel so unimportant that we do not treat them like Jesus treats them.
Hear this word paraphrased to call us to treat our ordinary life as extraordinary moments of laying them down . . .
When we lay down our lives with incremental consistency, we don’t know any other way to live when crisis comes. We won’t miss the moment that holds more eternity in it than we imagined. We are already in laying down mode.
Don’t brush Peter’s hopeful brag away with without knowing we have made our own empty claims.
Instead, take every ordinary moment of-your life to Jesus and let him show you how to lay it down today. Especially today as we shelter in place!