Last year I blogged about a father who, while walking to McDonald’s with his four-year-old daughter, observed the erratic driving of an oncoming car. As the vehicle barreled down on them, with the impact just seconds away, this father instinctively knew what he had to do. Giving no thought to persevering his own life, he grabbed his daughter and held her above his head. His quick action prevented her from being crushed by several thousand pounds of steel.
She lived. He died. I’m sure she’ll never forget her father’s sacrifice. (You can read the full story here).
More recently, I learned about a veteran who, likewise, acted in a heroic manner when a hand grenade was lobbed into his company of soldiers. Without regard to his own life this brave warrior didn’t run, didn’t calculate his chances of survival, or hesitate even for a second to act. Instead, he willingly threw himself down on the grenade to protect his buddies. He was willing to die, if necessary, so that his fellow soldiers could live.
In this case, the brave warrior, though injured, lived.
Put yourself in the boots of one of the soldiers who watched in stunned amazement at such a gift. Imagine how your life would be changed, knowing that someone was willing to lay down their life so you might live. I dare say the impact of such a sacrifice would be life-changing. Days, weeks, months, even years later, the knowledge that you were alive because of that decisive moment in history when someone took your place would have to change your view of life and how you treated others.
You’d never forget.
Such was the case with the men who lived through this ordeal. In fact, they assured the injured soldier that they’d be there for him, any time, any place and would do anything for him if he needed help. And, while I don’t know for sure, I’m confident that these men would tell others about the man whose valiant act had saved them from harm or death.
I shared this story on Good Friday at the Greater Omaha Leadership Prayer Breakfast to illustrate how we, in light of the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus, ought to live differently. Intentionally. Purposefully. And sacrificially.
After all, it’s no small matter that the Author of Life willingly gave His life so we could live forever with Him. Such life-changing news should be the defining mark on our lives.
Never forget what Jesus has done.
Never grow tired of telling others the Good News!