Matters of "life or death" are faced often enough, emergency response teams train and practice to respond to situations in order to save lives. What we need is a training for allowing death to replace life. The story of death for life begins way back in the book of Genesis.
I. Story Of Death
A. Lamb for a man
Genesis 3:21 Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.
The theme of the innocent suffering for the guilty begins, as does Israel's love affair with blood and death.
B. Lamb for a family
Exodus 12:3 Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth [day] of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of [their] fathers, a lamb for an house: And if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbour next unto his house take [it] according to the number of the souls; every man according to his eating shall make your count for the lamb. Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take [it] out from the sheep, or from the goats: And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening. And they shall take of the blood, and strike [it] on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it.
C. Lamb for a nation
Leviticus 16:18 And he shall go out unto the altar that [is] before the LORD, and make an atonement for it; and shall take of the blood of the bullock, and of the blood of the goat, and put [it] upon the horns of the altar round about.
Hebrews 9:7 But into the second [went] the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and [for] the errors of the people:
II. First the physical, then the Spiritual
A. Jesus didn't want people to die physically when He said
Mark 8:34 ... Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
B. Teaching self-denial deny (cessation - to disavow)
C. Jesus followers were taught save\lose... lose\save death for life
Mark 8:35 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel's, the same shall save it. For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?
D. Jesus begins to talk about eating His flesh and drinking His blood ... and people split
John 6:56 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.
John 6:66 From that [time] many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.
E. Jesus talks about death, but notice Peter's words
John 6:68 ... Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.
III. Same attitude
A. Lamb for a world... Jesus firstfruits
I Corinthians 15:20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, [and] become the firstfruits of them that slept.
B. His death physical ours Spiritual
C. Arm yourself (same attitude)
1 Pet 4:1 Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because he who has suffered in his body is done with sin. 2 As a result, he does not live the rest of his earthly life for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God. (NIV)
1. human desire
2. will of god
D. I must be crucified (fig. to extinguish (subdue) passion or selfishness)
Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
Galatians 5:24 And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
Gal 5:24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. (NIV)
E. Paul practiced dying daily 1Co 15:31 death for life
Phil 3:7 But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8 What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ-- the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. (NIV)