In the old days, men proved their manhood by killing other men.. it was as simple as that. I live, you die; I win, you lose. Things haven’t changed much in the last six thousand years. Men still strive to win and the way we win is to make sure that others lose. Today we don’t necessarily win with swords and spears, although we still kill each other. No, mostly we kill each other with words and actions. The Jewish scholars say that to commit murder is really to murder someone’s character. I win, you lose; I live, you die.
Jesus had an interesting approach to this inherent condition in mankind. He said “If you want to be my follower, die to yourself, take up your cross, and follow me.” It’s what I call 180 degree thinking. Jesus knew that the way we lived was absolutely self-centered. I am going to be the wealthiest, I am going to be the most popular, I am going to get that better job no matter who I have to step on to get there. I win, you lose; I live, you die.
But Jesus said to us, “No. If you really want to experience what it means to be human, I ask you to die so someone else can live. And if you don’t understand how that works, I’ll go first.”
Then He took up His cross and died in my place, and your place, so that we could live. Most people will never understand the concept, but I guarantee you, it works.
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? Jeremiah 17:9
But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8