Now in John’s Gospel it says ‘‘I lay down my life’’ and again ‘‘I lay it down of myself’’… So him laying down his life is that not the same as suicide? I am curious of the difference here between Jesus laying down his life and a random person laying down their life?
Well, random people don’t have virgin mothers, Jesus did. Angels don’t normally visit someones mother before she bears her children. And by the way Jesus did not commit suicide, he was executed at the hands of the Romans, for no crime what so ever. He sacrificed his life, so that you and I could live and have a chance to join him once we die.
Tell me, where do you get the idea that our Lord committed suicide?
‘‘No man taketh it away from me: but I lay it down of myself’’ So did the Romans take his life? Or did he? I’m just trying to understand the verses.
Perhaps one could look at these verses this way…
Suppose you are in a battle and your friend is safely tucked behind a tree… occasionally he sends a bullet to the opposing side… finally there is one enemy left… but only you and this one friend are left alive. The enemy throws a grenade at you… and your friend leaps out from behind the tree, grabs the grenade, and runs straight at the enemy. The grenade explodes and he dies, but he was far enough away that you are not killed, though perhaps a bit of shrapnel got in your skin.
You might go home and tell stories of how that friend “laid down his life…” did he commit suicide? Perhaps in a way he did, because he knew he would die when he ran with that grenade. But it was not his intention to kill himself to end his misery or something like that, it was rather to save your life. Furthermore, you would be right to say that the enemy killed your friend… but that your friend laid down his life as well–because perhaps one might say the enemy never would have killed your friend if your friend hadn’t let himself be killed–for your sake. Dunno if that helps, but it might be a way to look at it.
There needn’t be a dichotomy between “laying down your life” and someone killing you.
Is *laying down one’s life *always the same as suicide? And/or is it always wrong to lay down one’s life?
**HINT: **Than what hath no man greater love?
First of all, Jesus most certainly did not commit suicide. I just want to make that point perfectly clear. One thing we have to remember is that Jesus is God; always has been, and always will be. So, the only way any man could have ever killed Him would be for Jesus to allow it to happen. That’s what He meant when He said, “I lay it down of myself”. He did this to fulfill His purpose, which was to redeem mankind and open the gates of Heaven to them.
Many times during His public life, when He was preaching in various places, the Gospels say that the Pharisees or Sadducees tried to lay hold of Him to kill Him, but He escaped their grasp. That was because it was not yet the right time for Him to die. He still had more to teach His followers. But, the time of Passover was the right time, because He told His Apostles what would happen to Him in Jerusalem. His work was finished. He had taught them everything they needed to know about how to establish His Church and preach His Gospel. All that was left for Him to do, was to die in the manner that was prophesied in the Old Testament.
Just who drove the nails into Him?
Who scourged Him?
Who yelled “Crucify Him!”
Suicide is taking one’s life. It’s when you tell God that you have claimed a right that God alone has - to end a life.
What Jesus did was lay down his life. He gave his life up to the Father.
Suicide is completely selfish; Jesus’s sacrifice was completely selfless.
Laying down your life to save others is a selfless act. This is not suicide.
Committing suicide is a selfish act.
Christ did not take His own life. His life was taken from Him. He did not will His own death , He merely declined to resist it because He saw it as the inevitable necessary sacrifice for mankind’s atonement.
Your question shows the dangers in taking things in isolation. It also shows the strength of taking things to a group.
First let’s look at the above in the fuller context of john 10.
17 For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life, that I may take it again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again; this charge I have received from my Father."
Note that he has the power to lay it down AND the power to take it up again…
Would you agree that this is a substantial difference between Jesus and, “a random person”?
Consider also something Jesus says in John 15
Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. - (John 15:13)
Why did Jesus lay down his life? John tells us that God lo loved the world that he sent his only begotten son…
Love is the key.
Just some thoughts.
A person who lays down his life is giving his life into the hands of another to dispose of, as a soldier lays down his life first to the hands of his commanding officer who ultimately places it then in the path of the enemy soldier who does the literal killing.
A person who commits suicide is attempting to keep his life by ending some evil he is experiencing, by ending his experiencing of the evil. He is saying, “I want it my way”, while the soldier is saying, “It will be your way, Captain”, as he marches off to what he knows may or will be his death.
Suicide is the seeking of self benefit, a (disordered) self-concocted reasoning about how to save oneself from a problem that is coming, keeps coming, does not seem to end.
Ding! Ding! Ding! :clapping: