3/28/2018 2:06:46 PM
Holy Week 3: Will You Really Lay Down Your Life for Me
Please enjoy these devotions from a series published in 2016 by Martin Luther College entitled "Searching Questions from Christ's Passion."
Simon Peter asked him, “Lord, where are you going?” Jesus replied, “Where I am going, you cannot follow now, but you will follow later.” Peter asked, “Lord, why can’t I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.” Then Jesus answered, “Will you really lay down your life for me? Very truly I tell you, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times!” (John 13:36-38)
Sometimes a person needs a “reality check.” A reality
check helps you see that the real situation is not the same
as what you believe. For example, you may believe you
are in perfect health, but then the doctor gives you a
reality check. He helps you see the real situation through
some test results.
Jesus once gave Peter a reality check by asking him a
searching question: “Will you really lay down your
life for me?” (John 13:38). Jesus asked this question to
help Peter—and us—see the truth about our spiritual
weakness and our need for a Savior.
Peter needed a reality check. Jesus warned him that he
was not ready to follow him down the road of suffering
and death. Nevertheless, Peter insisted, “Lord, I will lay
down my life for you” (John 13:37). Peter ignored his
spiritual weakness and underestimated sin’s great power.
So Jesus gave him a reality check by asking him, “Will
you really lay down your life for me? Very truly I tell
you, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three
times!” (John 13:38). Jesus wanted Peter to know the
truth—that he would fail to fear, love, and trust in him
above all things.
We also need a reality check. How easily we become
complacent about the spiritual dangers in our lives. We
too need to hear Jesus’ searching questions: “Will you
really lay down your life for me? Do you really have the strength to fear, love, and trust in me above all things? Do you really have the power to resist all temptation and to face suffering and death for my sake?”
To each of those questions we would have to confess that we don’t have the strength to lay down our lives for Jesus. But, thanks be to God, Jesus could and would lay down his life for us and for all people! He boldly promised, “I am the Good Shepherd . . . I lay down my life for the sheep” (John 10:11,15). But unlike Peter and
us, he made good on his bold promise. He truly laid down his life for us as he cried out, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit” (Luke 23:46).
Sometimes we need our eyes opened to the truth. Praise God that through his Word he opens our eyes to see the reality of our spiritual weakness. But more importantly, thank God that through his Word we can see the reality of Jesus’ life-saving sacrifice. Through that good news alone, our gracious God will give us the desire and strength to lay down our lives each day for him.
O Lord, how often we foolishly copy Peter and
substitute spiritual overconfidence for humble
faith. Through your dear Son forgive and restore
us, even as you forgave and restored Peter. Grant
us grace to trust your strength and not our own.
--Prof. Brian Hennig