And He (Jesus) withdrew from them about a stone's throw, and knelt down and prayed, saying, "Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me. Nevertheless, not My will, but Yours, be done." And there appeared to Him an angel from heaven, strengthening Him. Luke 22:41-43
A good, many years ago, during a Massachusetts winter, a brother and sister, nine and eleven years old, were walking on the ice of a river.
They hit a thin patch; the ice gave way, and they fell through. Kicking to the surface, they yelled for help.
Summoned by their screams, a man came running. He jumped into the water and tried to help both children. It was an incredibly difficult thing for him to do. Seeing that the man was losing the battle the nine-year-old boy shouted, "Never mind me. Save Annette!"
That's what happened. The man saved Annette; the boy died.
I've often wondered why did the boy call out, "Never mind me. Save Annette!"
Was it a rational decision? Did he debate the matter? After weighing the pros and cons, did he conclude he would rather see his sister saved than himself? Anybody who thinks that has never been in ice-cold water.
No, the boy didn't have the kind of time necessary to put the pros and cons onto the scale.
What happened was this: that boy, that Christian boy, made his self-sacrificing statement, because it was part of him. From his home, from his church, from parents and grandparents, from a long line of volunteer and paid teachers, he had learned to try and do as the Savior had done for him.
Now you and I both know it's not normal to say, "Never mind me. Save Annette."
It's not normal, but that is what Jesus did for us. Look once again at His prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane. True, the Savior doesn't mention Annette, nor does He call out our specific names. Even so, Jesus' prayer basically states, "Father, never mind Me. Save the world."
This, of course, is what happened. Jesus died and the world was redeemed. Now all who are brought to faith in the Savior are given forgiveness and eternal life.
And what will happen if we, in the Savior's Name, make sacrifices for others? I can't tell you that, but I do know today tens of thousands of people have heard the story of a Christian boy who said, "Never mind me. Save Annette."
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, the world tells me I am supposed to watch out for number one. As a Christian, I agree. Because of Jesus, You are number one in my life. May all I do glorify and show my thanks to You. In the Savior's Name I ask it. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries