October 2, 2014
(Jesus said) "It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many." Matthew 20:26-28
I don't know her name. I don't have her picture. All I know is that she was 51 years old, and she is no longer alive.
Let me share her story. The lady was an Ohio school bus driver who, with her school system, was teaching children how to evacuate a bus from the back. Things had gone well, and all the children had managed to get out of the bus, and the last one was being moved to the sidewalk.
And that's when the bus, the bus which had been parked on a hilly street, began to roll. Nobody knows why the bus had stayed in place throughout the evacuation exercise and only after some time began to move. All we know is, quite unexpectedly the bus began to roll.
The bus driver pushed a 10-year-old girl out of the path of the bus and then tried to climb in so she could stop the giant vehicle. Instead of getting into the bus, she was pulled under and died. The children were safe, but the driver had died. She gave her life to try and save the children of other people.
Now my question is would you have done the same thing? Would you have sacrificed yourself to save the lives of people to whom you had no relationship?
I think most of us would like to think we would be a hero like this lady. We would like to think so, but who can tell what we would do when faced with such a split-second decision?
We may not know what we would do, but we most certainly do know what Jesus, God's perfect Son, did. So that we might be saved, Jesus left the glories of heaven and came to earth. Streets of gold were replaced by pathways of dust, and shouts calling for His crucifixion took the place of angelic praises.
Understand, Jesus' life, suffering, sacrifice and death was not a split-second decision. The promise of a Savior had been made to Adam and Eve, but it took thousands of years before that promise was fulfilled. Jesus had a long time to consider the sacrifice He was being asked to make for ungrateful, sinful humanity.
Amazingly, in spite of knowing how He would be treated, in spite of knowing how He would be rejected, in spite of knowing how His perfect life would end on a cross, the Son of Man came and gave His life as a ransom for many, including you and me. His third-day resurrection from the dead is proof of His success. His sacrifice was satisfactory, and people of faith are saved.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, we give thanks for those who sacrifice themselves for the safety of others. Most of all I rejoice that You willingly, deliberately laid down Your life for my forgiveness and salvation. May my life reflect my gratitude. In Your Name I ask it. Amen.
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Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries