The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many. Matthew 20:28
It was only a few days ago I asked, “What would you have done if you had been there when Jesus was born?” It seems this week’s Daily Devotions can’t get away from that question.
You see, Larry Bourbannais knew what he would do. After the massacre at Columbine, 59-year-old Vietnam veteran Bourbonnais asked himself, “What will I do if I am ever placed in a similar situation?” He concluded, and told his four daughters: “If something like that ever happened and I was there, I would go after the shooter, because you want to protect people.”
Two weeks ago Bourbannais’ words were turned into action when Christian-hater Matthew Murray opened fire on the people at Colorado Springs’ New Life church. While others were running away, Bourbannais made his way toward the gunshots. As he went, he asked, “Where’s the shooter? Where’s the shooter?”
Without a gun, Bourbannais did all he could. Stepping out from behind a pillar, Bourbannais made himself a target and shouted the word, “Coward”, at heavily armed Murray. Murray fired at Bourbonnais who took some bullet fragments in his arm. Realizing he wasn’t seriously wounded Bourbannais repeated his challenge to the murderer who was then shot by a security guard, Jeanne Assam. Jeanne, too, had decided what she would do in such a circumstance. Standing in the open, Jeanne was praying as she called on Murray to surrender, and she kept on praying as they exchanged fire.
It takes a special person to make themselves a target for someone else; it takes a unique kind of commitment and bravery to be willing to sacrifice yourself for someone else.
This time of year many people look into the Bethlehem manger and see a cute and cuddly little Child. Indeed, many prefer to keep Christmas as a celebration of life and stop Jesus from ever growing older. They never see Jesus’ temptations, His courage, or His cross.
That’s not right. Before the world was created, Jesus knew He would be born in the city of David; He knew He had to be born one of us so He might carry our sins; He had to die so we might have eternal life.
Jesus made Himself the target of sin, Satan, and the law’s condemnation, so all who believe might not perish but have everlasting life. Jesus knew what He would do. He was born to give His life as a ransom for many.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, I give thanks for Your bravery, Your commitment, Your courage. By Your dedication to save me, I have been redeemed. May I always live in gratitude and thankfulness. In Your Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries