I caught myself asking a dangerous question recently. It can easily become a refrain in my head, like that annoying song that won't go away, but I finally saw what was happening.
Why should I?
Why should I keep trying to repair a broken relationship?
Why should I call her when she never calls me?
Why should I help him out when he never helps me?
Why should I keep my sick kids at home when no one else does?
Why should I go to so much effort when no one has ever done anything for me?
In our human world we like things to be equal and fair. We like to get what we paid for, whether we paid with money, time, effort or emotion. We want to feel like the effort to do right is worth it – like we're getting some kind of return.
When I caught myself asking that question of why should I a few weeks ago, I thought about Jesus Christ. What if he had thought that way? Imagine the questions Jesus could have asked himself.
Why should I work with this man who's going to deny he even knows me?
Why should I invest three years of my life into someone who will just betray me?
Why should I heal people who won't do anything for me?
Why should I teach a bunch of people who will try to stone me?
Why should I feed people who don't even believe in me?
Jesus Christ didn't just die for our sins, He lived in a world full of sinners, loving and serving them every minute that He had. I'm so thankful He didn't first weigh up what we could do for Him (nothing) before laying down His life (which was worth billions of ours). The Bible tells followers of Christ to become like Him. The apostle Paul said:
Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ. (I Corinthians 11:1)
In his letter to the Romans Paul said:
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind … (Romans 12:2)
The answer to the question why should I is simple. Because Jesus would. In a few days followers of Jesus Christ around the world will be remembering His death and resurrection by observing the Passover as He did. The words He spoke in prayer to God shortly before His brutal crucifixion were not why should I, but:
...Nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done. (Luke 22:42)
May that be our prayer also.