I had a radical thought the other day- since Yeshua knew that going to Jerusalem on that fateful Passover would result in His death, was He actually murdered or, because He allowed Himself to be killed without protecting or defending Himself in any way, did He really commit suicide?
I thought this was an interesting question, especially when we consider that most Judeo-Christian religious beliefs state that suicide is a sin.
So, nu? What do you think?
Yeshua did say that there is no greater love than that one give up his life for a friend (John 15:13), and the shepherd will give his (or her) life to protect the flock (John 10:11), so if we do something to save others, something that we know might cause our own death, is that heroics or suicide? What about military actions that are called “suicide missions”, which offer little or no chance of the participant’s survival but are necessary to help the overall victory? If you volunteer for that mission and die, is that suicide?
The answer is: I’m not sure I know. If it is considered suicide, and suicide is a sin, then Yeshua sinned! Oy! But he couldn’t have sinned, otherwise He would not have been an acceptable sacrifice, right? Isn’t that what we have always been told? Yet, He took on the sin of the world, so if He was taking on the sin of the world, every sin that everyone did and ever will do, then really? what’s one more sin going to matter?
You know, now that I am discussing it with you, I may have an answer. My answer is the difference between sinful suicide and doing something that will result in your death is the reason why you are doing it: are you taking your life or giving it away?
If I do something that I know will lead to my death, and I do it in a state of emotional depression or to avoid facing the consequences of something I have done, that suicide is sinful. It is trying to escape from something that is part of living. However, if I do something that I know may result in my death, but the reason is to save someone else’s life or to accomplish a greater good for others, then I am giving up my life for the benefit of someone else.
For example: if I shoot myself, I have taken my life, but if I am helping someone to escape a firefight, get shot and die, I have given my life for another. The former is sinful, the latter is sacrificial and godly.
Therefore, given this difference between sinful and righteous ways to lose one’s life, it is clear that Yeshua did not commit a sinful suicide: He sacrificed His life so that giving up His life could save everyone else’s life.
We can give our life without losing it, by sacrificing our time, finances, possessions and energy in ways that will honor God’s Word (Torah), and to teach others how to do so through our example. And maybe, as the End of Days gets closer and the enemy rules the world, we will have to sacrifice our very life. Maybe, maybe not, but if we do, at least that will be a godly sacrifice.
Here’s a godly sacrifice you can do that won’t cost you your life: die to self so that there is more room for the Ruach haKodesh (Holy Spirit) to live within you. Then you can be filled with God’s power and righteousness.