Ever since I was a little kid, the story of Jesus dying on a cross for sins has perplexed me. It’s not that I didn’t believe it was true, I just couldn’t believe someone would give up something as precious as their own life for me. It was a hard pill to swallow. I couldn’t wrap my head around the complexity of that type of gift.
Sunday school had always taught me that Jesus’ sacrifice was the definition of love itself, and that we as believers were called to love people the way Jesus did. And while I don’t think Jesus expects all of us to literally sacrifice our lives in order to showcase our love for one another, I do believe his example is an encouragement and model for us to selflessly serve one another, on a daily basis. Practically, this means putting others before ourselves, thinking of others before ourselves and serving others in their times of need—and in some extreme occasions, actually sacrificing ourselves for others.
But, loving others isn’t always done through extreme acts. In fact, each day that passes will grant us with opportunities to showcase the sacrificial love of Jesus, through seemingly small acts and simple words. But to those on the other side of the equation, even a small act of love can make a world of a difference in their life. Selfless love, that is.
Sacrifice is key. If you’re not sacrificing anything, even something as simple as your time, you have to ask yourself whether or not it’s really an act of love. Because remember, Jesus is our example. Love is one of those things that everyone yearns for, and in a world filled with darkness, despair and hurt, love founded on the sacrifice of Jesus is the remedy our souls need and thirst for on a daily basis. We must be that to others. We must reflect an image of Jesus through our words and actions, and in doing so, we’re giving people a glimpse of heaven and a reflection of the one who put himself on a cross for us.
Loving people isn’t just something Jesus wanted us to do, it’s something he commanded us to do. In fact. As we just read above, Jesus tells us no other commandment is greater than loving Jesus and loving others, and in case you were wondering, that’s how you know loving others is important. If you’re reading this today, I want to encourage you to go out and love people like you never have before. Step out of your comfort zone. Meet new people. Reflect an image of Jesus to people through sacrificial love.