John 15:13 – Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.
Recently I came across the tragic story of William and Mary Tanner who were crossing a railroad track, when Mary's foot slipped and became wedged between the rail and the wooden crosswalk. Frantically they both tried to get her foot loose, as a train approached around the curve. As the express came closer, with its brakes screeching, Mary realized it couldn't stop in time. "Leave me, Bill!" she cried. Seeing his efforts were useless, he arose quickly and held her in his arms to protect her as much as possible. While bystanders shuddered in horror, the train thundered over them. It was reported that just before the engine hit them, they heard the brave man cry, "I'll stay with you, Mary!" Although he wasn't able to save his wife, his devotion never faltered.
What a picture of the kind of love Jesus has for us. As human beings, we are caught in the snare of sin, and the penalty for sin is death – eternal, spiritual death. Scripture says, "God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8) He showed that love while He hung on the cross. The difference between William's sacrifice and Christ's is that William couldn't save his wife, but Christ can save us. "For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life." (John 3:16)
Prayer: Lord, I thank You that because Christ was sinless, His blood, shed for us in Your love, is more than able to save us. Amen.