Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. – John 15:13
26 But now, once for all time, he has appeared at the end of the age to remove sin by his own death as a sacrifice.
28 Christ died once for all time as a sacrifice to take away the sins of many people. He will come again, not to deal with our sins, but to bring salvation to all who are eagerly waiting for him.
In the 21st century there are all kinds of creds. Creds is short for credentials. Creds is another way of referring to one’s ‘rep,’ or ‘reputation.’ It refers to an individual’s credibility among their associates, social or professional group. It signifies the quality of being believable or worthy of respect.
Folks with street creds are approved by ordinary young people and considered to be part of their culture. Usually they share a sense of fashion and opinions. A person with prison creds has earned and now commands respect from their fellow prisoners.
In life, what kind of a person has excellent credibility and a good reputation, life creds? I suggest they would possess, but not be limited to, the following characteristics. They would be reliable, dependable, and would do what they say. They do not defer to anyone. They would have no prejudice and would not discriminate based upon arbitrary, passing, temporal values. They would fit in and accommodate themselves to people without compromising their values or personal integrity. They would go out of their way to care and be helpful. They would be easily approachable. They would be self-sacrificial and put the needs of others before their own.
But what about death creds? Some good people with lots of life creds might indeed go out of their way for the benefit of others. Rarely they might even die in another’s place. But such apparent altruism is not offered to just anybody. Rather, such self-sacrifice is somewhat exclusive. Their benevolence is offered only for somebody particularly close and important to them: good friends, parents for children, or children for parents. But such kindness is certainly not made available to strangers, what some might deem deplorables, and above all, certainly not enemies.
7 Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good.
8 But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners
In the history of planet Earth, only one person ever “earned” absolute and total death creds. He died for all people. He died for particularly bad, sinful people. In so doing He demonstrated His impartial, all-encompassing love for the world.
REFLECT & PRAY
Since the time of the garden of Eden and the fall of Adam and Eve, sin and death have had power and control over mankind.
Father thank you that the power of sin and even death itself has been broken for all time and eternity because of the death of Your beloved Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Lord Jesus Christ has the ultimate life creds and death creds. He not only died for us and provided us eternal life. He defeated death itself and removed any uncertainty or fear regarding it. Death has been defanged and its bite has been removed forever for every child of the King. Not even the slightest hint of concern remains.
1 Corinthians 15:54-57
54 Death is swallowed up in victory.
55 O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?
56 For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power.
57 Thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.
But there’s more. The Lord Jesus Christ could never have been captured, bound, mocked, beaten, or cruelly killed if He had not allowed Himself to be.
Reflect upon that. Utter self-sacrifice for each individual child of the King.
17 “The Father loves me because I sacrifice my life so I may take it back again.
18 No one can take my life from me. I sacrifice it voluntarily. For I have the authority to lay it down when I want to and also to take it up again. For this is what my Father has commanded.”
“These words would be utterly out of place were the Lord Jesus a mere man. He spoke of laying down His life and taking it up again by His own power. He could only do this because He is God. The Father loved the Lord Jesus because of His willingness to die and rise again, in order that lost sheep might be saved” (McDonald).
His sacrifice for us was totally voluntary, His own choice. He chose to lay down His life so that the world might be saved through Him. The Father’s plan for redemption was accomplished when His Son died for the sins of the world. The Son chose to take up His life again.
John 10:11 I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.
1 Peter 3:18 For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God . . .
The Lord Jesus Christ has the ultimate in death creds. He alone is worthy!