I saw a billboard last week as my wife and I were driving back to Texas. Not a unique or staggering experience, I know, but this one caught my eye. It read: “Live for Me, I died for you –God.”
As we flew past it at 70+ mph it managed, unlike other billboards, to lodge itself in my mind. And as we continued to drive along that spatially unassuming road in the middle of nowhere, that sign with those curated seven words, so poignantly chosen to sound right out of the ten commandments, rolled in the lock of mental undertow.
I realized you can read that sign one of two ways.
Most people probably read, “Live for Me, I died for you” with the traditional glasses of Christianity- doing things in honor of God or for the glory of God. To me, this concept is very vague but of course universally applicable. The thought is: if I recognize God for this gift or talent and do it as best I can He is glorified since He created me in this unique way.
Hence even in the sports world you have people playing football and scoring touchdowns for God, wearing eye-black with John 3:16 written on it, or pointing to the sky and looking up after a home run.
I’m not minimizing these displays of faith, but to me they can be rather shallow. We may easily score touchdowns for God on the field, but how do we live after the game or when we are with friends. Does our DVD collection give glory to God? What about our reactions to others absurdities?
“And He died for all that those who live may no longer live to themselves but to Him who died for them and has been raised.” -2 Corinthians 5:15
The study note on 2 Corinthians 5:15 in the Holy Bible Recovery Version says, “Living to the Lord is deeper in significance than living for the Lord. Living for the Lord implies that I and the Lord are still two; living to the Lord indicates that I am one with the Lord…”
The second way to read this sign is with the glasses of our organic union in life with the resurrected Christ. Today Christ is looking for an opportunity to live again through us. Just as a tree lives and expresses itself through its branches, Christ wants to be expressed by His followers. We need Him for life, but He needs us for expression. He needs some people to live for Him, or more biblically, to live Him.
This is not merely to live for Him by doing things in His name or in honor of Him. This is to live for Him in the sense of allowing Him to be expressed. To live for Him with the realization that without us, He cannot live. That’s an astounding statement.
When read this way, this sign becomes not a commandment but an appeal from God. God is pleading with you to let Him live. Will you let Him?