Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. John 15:13
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor[a] and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies ...... Matthew 5:43
Both of these verses are very often quoted individually. I'd like to suggest that a deeper meaning could possibly be found by merging them together. Jesus said in the first verse that the greatest possible way to show love would be by laying down your life, dying for a friend. In the second verse Jesus says that we must not only love our neighbor/friend, but our enemy as well. So, if we are to love our enemy, what does that look like? What is the best possible way to love our enemies ? I think it is pretty clear. If Jesus says that our love is shown by dying for our friends/neighbors, and we are also required to love our enemies, would it not follow that the best way to love our enemy would also be by dying for him ? When we follow this line of thought, how then could it be logical to kill our enemy ? If we are called to love our enemy to the point of dying for him, what rationale could there EVER be to kill him. Jesus was willing to die on the cross not only for you and me, but for the very people who murdered him, His enemies. Later in the new testament, Paul tells us to be "imitators of Christ". As Christ layed his life down for His enemies, so should we. Again, if we are called to love our enemies to the point of death, how then could we ever justify killing them ?
Just some food for thought, would love to hear your thoughts.