Titus 3:4-5a – But when the kindness and love of God our Saviour appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. (NIV)
The most enduring moment in the movie, Saving Private Ryan, comes at the very end. Ryan, now an old man, is visiting the graves of American troops in France. Immediately following D-Day, June 6, 1944, the Army Chief of Staff discovered that three of the four Ryan brothers had been killed, and an eight-man unit was ordered to rescue the fourth and send him home. As Ryan now stands before the crosses of his rescuers, he bursts into tears and asks his family, "Have I been a good man?" He wants to know if he has lived a life worthy of being rescued; he needs to know that those who died to save him did not die in vain.
I guess we could ask the same question of ourselves, for we also have been rescued, and we owe our faithful lives to the death of one Man. Jesus died for our sins, and we know that none of us is worthy of this grace. We may accomplish great things in our lives, we may do good things and fulfill lofty ambitions, but none of it counts against Christ's sacrifice. We cannot do anything to make things even with Jesus. We cannot work our way out of needing His salvation. In the end, we will always owe more to Christ than we could ever possibly repay. At the final moment of our lives, it will not be our goodness that will rescue us from oblivion; it will be Christ's mercy and grace that will pull us through death to eternal life.
This is what being saved means. This is why we hope. This is why we have faith in Jesus.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, our lives are made eternal in the precious moment that we give them to You. Our souls are saved forever when we acknowledge You as the Saviour of the world and the Lord of our lives. Help us to share this good news, so that others, too, may not worry about death, but instead may glorify Your goodness and experience Your mercy. In Your holy name, we pray. Amen.