Love lays down its life for another

April 3, 2024

By Jeff Becraft


The word passion literally means “to suffer.”

As with many words, there can be more than one definition. You have to go down to definition #5 before you hit “ardent affection or desire,” although this is the definition that most people would probably associate with love. We miss the point that to love really means we are willing “to suffer”… we are willing to lay our lives down for another.

The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis (I have mentioned it before) is one of my favorite book series. Brenda gave it to me for my birthday during our first year of marriage.

In the first book, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, the White Witch rides in on a sleigh, looking down on Edmund, and in her twisted way begins to manipulate Edmund so she can get what she wants. She calls herself the Queen of Narnia. She demands his allegiance and never follows through on any of her promises to him.

Love is never manipulation; love is invitation.

When one is dominated by fear, selfishness, insecurity, and cruelty, manipulation is inevitable. Take some leaders of countries or regimes… if they have the best deal, then why are they having to silence others through control, cruelty, and even torture?

Aslan the Lion, who is the creator of Narnia, comes in to lay his life down. He gives his life in exchange for Edmund, who is a traitor. The innocent one gives his life for the guilty one. This is true love.

Because of the guilt of his betrayal, Edmund deserved to die:

“Please—Aslan,” said Lucy, “can anything be done to save Edmund.”

“All shall be done,” said Aslan. “But it may be harder than you think.”

At that moment, Lucy does not know the cost of that rescue. Aslan does. And yet he freely gives his life for Edmund’s. He is sacrificed on the Stone Table at the Witch’s hands. The demand of the sentence on Edmund’s life is met and Edmund is free. It was an extremely heavy cost for Aslan… but it was good for Edmund.

That is not the end of the story… but you will have to read the book for yourself (or watch the movie) to see how it ends and how there was triumph in the suffering.

Love lays down its life for another.


Jeff Becraft is the Director of Our Place of Hope and the Director Emeritus for Youth Corps and has dedicated much of his life to helping shift the vision of people’s lives. Our Place of Hope is a paradigm shift for people living with mental illness that encourages them to regain meaning, purpose, and hope for their lives. You can connect with Jeff at  [email protected].