Most of us will not be called to physically die for Christ. Even so, in light of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, let us lay down our lives for him. Let’s be living martyrs, constantly dying in order that we might find our life.
Martyr stories have always encouraged me. It might seem morbid to think that a story of someone losing their life can be beautiful, but these stories expose that there are some things that are more valuable than life. God often uses these stories of courage and commitment to bring in lost souls, to build the church, and to encourage the saints to live a life of greater service to God. As a young Christian, I used to say confidently, “I would die for Christ,” but as I get older, I am realizing more and more that dying for Christ might be the easier thing.
What do I mean? Dying for Christ takes a moment of extreme courage and resolve from the hand of God, but living for Christ requires a sustained courage that beats back the devil and the flesh daily. It’s a constant dying. Jesus tells us that if we are to find our life, we must lose it (Matt 10:39). He says, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me” (Matt 16:24). The Christian is a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1), a constant offering on the altar of God.