Every few years, a “man’s man” movie comes out that is capable of sending a guy’s testosterone level through the roof. In 1995, it was Braveheart. In 2000, it was Gladiator. And in 2006, I remember my excitement after seeing 300. Excitement is an understatement. I left that theater wanting to start a rigorous training regiment to be as buff as a Spartan. I wanted to be able to throw a spear 50 yards and kill something (or just be able to throw a spear 50 yards). I wanted to belong to a brotherhood that valued things like glory and honor.
Spartans were defined by their dedication. Their king was no exception. King Leonidas was full of courage. He led by example by being on the front lines of each battle, and held so much credibility that his men would follow, fight, and die for him. One of the great lines from the movie comes when they are surrounded, outnumbered, and death is imminent., “No retreat, no surrender; that is Spartan law. And by Spartan law we will stand and fight… and die.”
I’m not saying I want to follow Spartan law, but I do want to be challenged by them to be a part of something worthy of standing up for, worth fighting for, and worth dying for.
After reminding his readers of the great value of Christ dying for sins, Paul says, “Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 15:58). In his next letter to them he again shares how through Christ, God reconciled us to himself and charges them to respond by being ambassador’s of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:18).
May we learn from those who are so passionate that they’re willing to give their lives for what they believe. Let’s dedicate our lives to the One who created and sustains the universe and everything in it, who ferociously chases after and loves his children despite their rebellion, and rejoices over them as a proud and thankful father (Zephaniah 3:17). That is worth standing for, fighting for, and dying for.
– Rob Warland