TITLE: For Us
DATE: June 11, 2019
TEXT: Romans 5:7-8 - English Standard Version - 7 For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— 8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Christ is risen. He is risen, indeed!
What do a construction worker (Wesley Autrey) have in common with a semi-historical movie? (300)
If you don’t have an immediate answer, let me tell you their stories.
First: Wesley Autrey. Wesley Autrey is the hero who jumped onto the path of a subway train to save a man who was suffering a seizure. When Autrey realized he was going to be unable to get the man off the tracks before the train rolled over them, he threw the man down and covered him with his own body.
The train did stop… but not before two cars went over the men who were lying in a pool of muddy water.
Autrey, a Navy vet, summed up his willingness to risk his life to save another person with the words, “I saw someone in distress and went to his aid," .
Second: the movie: 300. 300 is the fictionalized story of an ancient battle which was fought at the Greek pass of Thermopylae. You don’t have to remember, or be able to pronounce that name. You only need to know that in this ancient battle 300 Spartan soldiers, with the token help of soldiers from other city-states… managed to stand off a massive Persian army which was trying to invade Greece.
300 sings the praises of the Greek heroes who were willing to sacrifice themselves to save their country.
A construction worker and a Greek army. They are people from different centuries and continents; but they are united in this: they were willing to die so someone else might live.
Now you might think that I am going to compare these people with the Savior. I’m not. I can applaud a man who was willing to sacrifice himself for a stranger, and I can understand why soldiers might give their life for the freedom of their country.
On the other hand, it is impossible for me to understand why Jesus would die for those who hated Him. Saint Paul said it: “God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
Jesus died for those who rejected Him; who lied about Him; who beat Him; spit upon Him; whipped Him and nailed Him to Calvary’s cross. Even more, Jesus died for you and me.
His is a sacrifice that will be found nowhere else in all of the history books. It is simply not normal, or natural for anyone to love an enemy like that. Still, that is what Jesus did. Isaiah said it (53:5) “But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed.”
For this love, God’s redeeming love, we give thanks.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, for Your suffering and sacrifice I owe You an eternity of praise. May I give it gladly. In Your Name. Amen.
The music which introduces and concludes our devotions was written by Guy Baumann. He along: on three of his brothers perform on the album: The Baumann Brothers which may be ordered here: http://thebaumannbrothers.com/index.html