Armageddon is a film about a ‘planet killer’ asteroid that’s on a collision course with earth. To save the earth, scientists realize they must send someone to land on the asteroid, drill a hole, and blow it up from the inside using a nuclear bomb. In response to this plan, the government puts together a team of misfit, deep core drillers to do the job.
The plan follows somewhat accordingly up until the end of the film – when the remote detonator for the bomb malfunctions. A dark cloud covers the room when the team realizes that someone must make the ultimate sacrifice and stay behind to blow it up manually.
After drawing straws, Ben Affleck’s character, A.J., is chosen. In a turn of events however, Bruce Willis’ character, Harry, overpowers A.J., sends him to safety, and gives his life to save the earth and the love of his daughter’s life.
What an amazing example of someone who was not only willing to go and save the entire world, but even to sacrifice his life in the process. In today’s society, sacrificial people are harder and harder to find, but as Christians we need to think about what it means to be like Christ.
- Why do you think Harry was willing to trade places with A.J.?
- How would you feel if you were A.J.? What would you say to Harry?
- Read the following passage:
- John 15:12-17 (NLT)
This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me. You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name. This is my command: Love each other.
- Jesus meant it when he said “lay down one’s life.” In the most literal way possible, he modeled grace in its purest form – by sacrificing his very life so that we may live – even though he did not deserve death, and we certainly did.
- This can apply to us as well – simply the idea of living a life of sacrifice. This doesn’t mean necessarily we should be seeking out new ways to sacrifice our very lives everyday for strangers; rather, sacrifice can come in many forms. Jesus’ sacrifice was rooted in an attitude of humility and grace, and that is the model we should follow when we choose to “lay down [our] life.
Let’s discuss this further…
- Why do you think Jesus tells us twice in this passage that His command is for us to love one another?
- What is the relationship with being Jesus’ friend and loving each other?
- Do you think part of loving each other includes being willing to ‘lay down your life’? Why or why not?
- Have you ever ‘laid down your life for your friends’? If so, what did it look like?
- Are we supposed to lay down our lives for our enemies as well? Why or why not?
- Can you really call something ‘love’ if there isn’t sacrifice involved? Why or why not?
- What would the world think of Christians if we all took this passage seriously?
- How will you “lay down your life” this week for someone?
When Jesus taught this command to His disciples, He had not yet given His life on the cross. But a short time later they witnessed the greatest act of sacrifice the universe had or ever will see. And because of that, the disciples went out and changed the world because of what Jesus did for them. Beyond this, the disciples eventually gave their lives through serving Christ, and ultimately gave an example of what true love means in doing this.
We also have the opportunity to lay down our lives for Jesus so He can use us to change our world. Think about what that would look like in your own life.
Jonathan McKee is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Bullying Breakthrough; The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices; If I Had a Parenting Do Over; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for parents on his website TheSource4Parents.com. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.