As I was driving to work this morning, channel surfing on the radio, the lyrics to Bruno Mars’ song “Grenade” really captured my attention …
I’d catch a grenade for ya (yeah, yeah, yeah)
Throw my hand on a blade for ya (yeah, yeah, yeah)
I’d jump in front of a train for ya (yeah, yeah, yeah)
You know I’d do anything for ya (yeah, yeah, yeah)
I would go through all this pain,
Take a bullet straight through my brain,
Yes, I would die for ya baby;
But you won’t do the same
Wow, that is some kind of love … unimaginable really, to think that someone could love somebody so much that they would die for that other person. Does that kind of love really exist? I don’t think of myself as a skeptic, and you can’t know how much I long to be loved that way, but after two failed marriages and still living with the haunting question “Do I matter?” I really cannot get my head – or heart – around that kind of love.
Isn’t that the kind of love we all crave, to know that we are valued so much that someone would put our life before their own? Please say yes – I don’t want to be standing alone on this … that only makes the void echo louder in the emptiness of my love bank. But who would I die for? Who would I catch a grenade for? My children immediately come to mind, but would I really under all circumstances, given the opportunity to be on the scene, take a bullet for them, without thought, unconditionally? Or might I weigh out what the heck they were doing in harm’s way to begin with before I gallantly step forward in the line of fire? What if one of my children could only live by me giving up an organ that would ultimately lead to my death … would I do it willingly, sacrifice my life for my child? I would like to think yes, but I just don’t know with any degree of certainty.
If you don’t know the name Bruno Mars, he is an American singer-songwriter and record producer. You will not find his songs played on Christian radio, yet his passionate vocals on “Grenade” filled me this morning, swept over my heart like a love ballad coming straight from Jesus. Take a moment to listen and watch this video of Bruno Mars performing “Grenade” … what resonates with you as you watch the images, or with eyes closed imagine Jesus singing these words to you?
Fil Anderson in “Breaking the Rules” tells us “Jesus’ life on earth was a revelation of a God who consistently goes overboard in lavishing His mercy and love. In his parables alone, we see God in various images of such grace: a lender shockingly dismissing an enormous, unpayable debt; a shepherd going out into the night just to search for one stray lamb; a merciful judge hearing the appeal of an undeserving tax collector … The love of God is unlike any other love. It’s not based on anything we do. If it were, and that “anything” somehow gave way, then wouldn’t His love disintegrate as well? And that’s the furthest thing from what could possibly happen. Nothing is stronger or deeper than His love.”
So, yes, as I think about the enormity of God’s gift to us, I know that He would catch a grenade for me, throw His hand on a blade for me, jump in front of a train for me … do anything for me …. I know because He did – He gave His life for me, and you, on the cross. The question is whether I’m stubbornly refusing to do the same. God is not asking me to face death on a cross – He is only asking me to die to myself and to give my life over to Him, and to share His love with others.
Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love – not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.
We love each other because he loved us first. 1 John 4:7-10, 19
Who would you die for? Who do you think would die for you?