But He was pierced for our transgressions; He was crushed for our iniquities; upon Him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with His wounds we are healed. Isaiah 53:5
On August 16, 1987, an airliner, with 156 people on board, crashed just after it had taken off from the Detroit airport.
As the rescuers sifted through the wreckage, they came across a sole survivor, a four-year-old girl named, Cecelia. At the investigation there were many reasons put forward as to why Cecelia lived when everyone else died:
* There were those who said Cecelia lived because she was smaller than the other passengers.
* One theory was she was sitting in the right seat which didn't convey to her little body the full impact of the flight.
* Some held to the opinion that Cecelia was just plain lucky.
Now it's true, all of those reasons may have played some part in Cecelia's amazing escape. But, truth be told, there is another -- a more important -- reason Cecelia lived when others died.
In the seconds while the plane was going down, in a moment of crisis, Cecelia's mother made a decision: she unbuckled her seat belt, got down on her knees, and faced her daughter.
She wrapped her arms around her little girl and refused to let go. Cecelia's mother made herself into a living buffer, so that her little girl might live.
Now I would like you to reflect on that for just a minute.
I want you to realize that this mom wasn't given a great deal of time to weigh the pros and cons of what she was doing. She didn't have hours to contemplate the situation and consider her choices. She wasn't given the opportunity to think about the rest of her family, or her job, or retirement.
Cecelia's mother was faced with a crisis and in that crisis she acted courageously. She came through, and because of the mother's death, Cecelia came through.
Almost 2,000 years ago, Jesus of Nazareth, God's perfect Son, put Himself between us and eternal death. Unlike Cecelia's mother who had to act quickly, the Lord had thousands of years during which He could consider: "Do I really want to sacrifice My Son so this sinful world might be given salvation?"
There is nothing in Scripture that indicates the Lord had second thoughts or even considered an alternative to Jesus becoming one of us. Indeed, so we might be forgiven, so we could be saved, Jesus took our place and died the death our transgressions have deserved.
His third-day resurrection from the dead is His proof, which says, "Because I live, you shall live also" (John 14:19b).
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, I give thanks that You have made the supreme sacrifice which has won my forgiveness. May my life be an ongoing expression of gratitude for Your gracious gift. This I ask in Jesus' Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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