It’s that classic scene in The Empire Strikes Back where, while on the snow planet Hoth, Luke Skywalker is attacked by and defeats the giant wampa and wanders through the barren land. Han Solo finds him, cold, shivering, suffering from hypothermia. And he does the classic thing anyone could think of. Han’s Taun-Taun, a horse-like creature who walks on two legs, keels over from the cold as well. So Han uses Luke’s lightsaber to open up the taun-taun and shoves Luke inside to keep Luke warm. Han then utters the famous line “And I thought they smelled bad on the outside.”
Fast forward years later and the wonderful people at Think Geek, created a taun-taun sleeping bag with a lightsaber zipper. Classic. Geeking out and wanting to get it for my son.
But what does this have to do with anything? Well, for starters, there’s a sense of creativity here. A sense of awesome geekiness about the idea of using a classic scene for a sleeping bag. It also reminds me of the willingness of a friend to help out another friend. The willingness of someone to do what they can to help out a friend. And the sleeping bag is a reminder of that. Odd to make the connection, but still awesome in itself. You might call it a leap, but I call it an ADD connecting moment. (Random connections make sense when you’re ADD). And in random fashion, the first thing that I go to is Jesus’ words about friends.
“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: To lay down one’s life for one’s friend.” John 15:12-13
Wow. Han did a great job. And later, at the end of Empire, he does willingly lay down his life to try to save his friends. He gets frozen in carbonite. Out of love for his friends, out of loyalty, he is willing to go to a possible death to save the ones he cares for. But more than that, he sees these people as friends. They weren’t friends in A New Hope. They were just money to be made by taking them to Alderan. But now, at the end of Empire, at Cloud City, he is friends with them and lays down his life to help them.
Jesus calls us friends.
“You are my friends if you do what I have commanded. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything I have learned from the Father, I have made known to you.” John 15:14-15
Jesus calls us friends and he laid down his life for us out of love. Out of his great love, he did this for us. This is more than just shoving a dying friend into a taun-taun. Anyone can do that. This is out right love, to die for another.
“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.” 1 John 3:16
It doesn’t say that greater love is shoving someone into a taun-taun. John wouldn’t even know what a tuan-taun is. (If you’re not familiar with Star Wars, you probably don’t either). The greatest love possible isn’t being frozen in carbonite. The greatest love possible is to lay down one’s life for another. To be willing to die for another.
Who do you love? Are you willing to lay down your life for them? Are you willing to do more than be frozen in carbonite or shove them into a tuan-taun. Love is greater than that. Love is more than that.
We have reminders of Jesus’ love. Just like Think Geek has the great reminder of what Han did for Luke in the sleeping bag, we have great reminders of Jesus love.
We have the cross. We have the cross which he died upon. It was an implement of death. It was a form of the death penalty. But because of Jesus, it represents life. Because of Jesus, we can become friends of God. Oh, what a friend we have in Jesus. What a friends we have in God. He calls us friends. And he laid down his life for us. So keep your eyes upon the cross. Keep your eyes upon it and remember the great love of Jesus. He didn’t use a taun-taun, he wasn’t frozen in carbonite, he died for you and calls you friend.