A couple days ago my phone rang. It was my wife calling to let me know she was feeling quite sick. It became clear the baton of childcare was being passed to me for the night. As any great dad would do, I put in a movie and ordered pizza. We all sat in the living room, turned the lights down, and dove into our pizza and soda as the Chronicles of Narnia started playing.
There was one scene that caught my attention. Young king Peter stands on a hill overlooking a battlefield. It’s one of those epic scenes. The opposing army sounds like thunder as they march, approaching nearer. The camera rolls over the hill showing how vast and overwhelming this battle is about to be–the good guys are far outnumbered. They all line up like a perfect chess set with countless pieces, and all became still. At that moment all you could hear is the wind. The tension was high and fear was on the face of this young king as he was about to go into a seemingly hopeless battle. He turns to his friend and general and asks him, “Are you with me?” His general responds, “To the death.”
To the death…think about that. Wouldn’t it be awesome to know you have a friend, spouse, or family member that would stand by your side even in the midst of life’s greatest obstacles? Our world has become so obsessed with self-preservation and pleasure that even the deepest of covenants are no longer sacred. The loyalty of marriage, family, and even some friendships go to the highest pleasure bidder. Wouldn’t it be nice to find someone who was absolutely faithful? A friend who would stand by you through any circumstance, no matter how dismal, and say they are with you to the death.
Believe it or not, this is the model of love Christ demonstrated to us. As Jesus hung on the cross suffering deep emotional and physical pain he looks at those who have hurt him and says, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” You have a friend who will stand with you even to the death. In absolute loyalty and complete faithfulness, Jesus wants to show you what honor and love truly look like. Can you imagine how different our world would be if we were to value justice, commitments, and covenants over self pleasure? “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” (John 10:10-11 ESV)
That’s a good Friend.