October 30, 2014
When the days drew near for Him (Jesus) to be taken up, He set His face to go to Jerusalem. Luke 9:51
Most of our Daily Devotion readers will not recognize the name Pasang Tamang.
Since that is the case, let me tell you a little bit about him. Tamang, who lived in Nepal, was a 46-year-old father of two children. He earned his living by guiding groups of hikers around the mountainous 140-mile-long Annapurna Circuit of Nepal. Even when the weather is cooperative, the days for a guide like Tamang are long, the conditions are brutal, and the pay would not meet the minimal wage.
Recently, the weather on the circuit turned especially nasty, and many explorers found themselves clueless as to where they might find life-saving shelter. That's when Tamang became a hero. Rather than deserting the lost, he stayed and led a group of more than 20 people to safety. Then, rather than staying in a shelter, he went back out and tried to find others.
One of the Israelis he saved said, "We all got a second lease on life."
That's true for the many people who were saved by Tamang's noble gesture. Yes, it's true for the hikers, but it's not true for the guide. Tamang never came back to the shelter. Instead, he gave the last of his strength directing, encouraging and rescuing others. When the weather quieted down, Tamang's body was recovered.
That story of a man's selfless sacrifice for others is moving. Such stories always are.
But no other human story can begin to compare with the sacrifice made by our Savior. You see, when Tamang directed those hikers, they were grateful, incredibly thankful, for his assistance. When Jesus walked among us calling people to repentance and salvation, He was hated, vilified and condemned.
But there's more. There is little doubt that Tamang fully expected to get himself to safety. There is no indication he stayed on that trail to die. In contrast, our Savior knew His life of suffering and sacrifice would end on a cross erected outside the city walls of Jerusalem. In spite of that knowledge, Jesus did not flinch from the fate that awaited Him. On the contrary, our Scripture reminds us He set His face toward Jerusalem.
But we're still not done. The work of Tamang saving others ended when he breathed his last on that cold Nepalese trail. When Jesus gave up the ghost on Calvary's cross, His work of saving lost souls was really just beginning. His glorious resurrection says His sacrifice has been completed, and now all who receive Him as Savior are forgiven of their transgressions and granted a place in paradise.
This explains why the entire world needs to recognize and believe on the Name of Jesus, the only Name which can save lost souls.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I give thanks for heroes like Pasang, but most of all I give thanks for my Savior, Jesus. May lost souls throughout the world be given faith in Him who sacrificed His life for their salvation. This I pray in Jesus' Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries