For one will scarcely die for a righteous person though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:7-8
Recently, news reports about a construction worker and articles about a new movie caught my eye.
Wesley Autrey was the hero construction worker who jumped into the path of a subway train to save a man who was suffering a seizure. When Autrey realized he would be unable to get the man off the tracks before the train rolled over them, he threw the man down and covered him with his own body. The train stopped, but not before two cars passed the men who were lying in a pool of muddy water. Autrey, a Navy veteran, summed it up best when he said, “I saw someone in distress and went to his aid.”
Last week’s most popular movie was 300. Yes, 300 is the name of the film. 300 is a fictionalized story of an ancient battle fought during the Greek pass of Thermopylae. You don’t have to remember or be able to pronounce the name. You only need to know that in this ancient battle, 300 Spartan soldiers managed to stand off a massive Persian army which was trying to invade Greece. In the movie, 300 sing the praises of the Greek heroes who were willing to sacrifice themselves to save their country.
Though they are from different centuries and continents, one modern day construction worker and one ancient Greek army are united by their sacrifices to die so someone else might live.
Now, you might think that I am going to compare these people with the Savior. I’m not. I can applaud a man who was willing to sacrifice himself for a stranger. I can understand why soldiers give their life for the freedom of their country.
However, it is impossible for me to understand why Jesus would die for those who hated Him. Jesus died for those who rejected Him, lied about Him, beat Him, spit upon Him, whipped Him, and nailed Him to Calvary’s cross. God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Even more, Jesus died for you and me. His is a sacrifice that will be found nowhere else in all of the history books. It is simply not normal or natural for anyone to love an enemy like that. Still, that is what Jesus did. “But he was wounded for our transgressions, and he was crushed for our iniquities, upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, for Your suffering and sacrifice I owe You an eternity of praise. May I give it gladly. Let us give thanks for God’s redeeming love. In Your Name. Amen.