Easter is the celebration of new life won for us by the death and resurrection of Jesus.
The grave is not our final destination. God has saved us in Jesus. We rejoice and realize Jesus’ tremendous sacrifice.
This following Easter story reminds us of the sacrifice God made for us in giving his only Son for our salvation.
After the Sunday scripture readings, the pastor went to the pulpit and briefly introduced his childhood friend. An elderly man stepped up to the pulpit and began to speak.
“A father, his son, and his son’s friend were sailing off the Gulf Coast when a fast approaching storm blocked any attempt to get back to shore. The waves were so high that even the father, an experienced sailor, could not keep the boat upright, and the three were swept into the gulf. The father managed to hang onto the capsized boat.”
The old man hesitated for a moment, noticed two teenagers who were, for the first time since the service began, looking somewhat interested in his story. He continued: “Grabbing a rescue line, the father had to make the most excruciating decision of his life – to which boy he would throw the line. He had only seconds to decide.
“The father knew that his son was a Christian, and he also knew that his son’s friend was not. The agony of his decision could only be matched by the torrent of waves. As the father yelled out, ‘I love you, son,’ he threw the line to his son’s friend. By the time he pulled the friend back to the capsized boat, his son had disappeared beyond the raging swells into the black of night. They never found his body.”
By this time, the two teenagers were sitting straighter in the pew, waiting for the next words to come out of the man’s mouth.
“The father,” he continued, “knew his son would step into eternity with Jesus, and he could not bear the thought of his son’s friend stepping into an eternity without Jesus. Therefore, he sacrificed his son. How great is the love of God that he should do the same for us.”
With that, the old man returned to his chair, as silence filled the room.
Within minutes after the service ended, the two teenagers were at the old man’s side.
“That was an interesting story,” politely started one boy, “but I don’t think it was very realistic for a father to give up his son’s life in hopes that the other boy would become a Christian.”
“Well, you’ve got a point there,” the old man replied, glancing down at his worn Bible. A big smile broadened his narrow face, and he again looked up at the boys and said, “It sure isn’t very realistic, is it? However, that story gives me a glimpse of what it must have been like for God to give up His Son for you and me. You see, I was the son’s friend.”
St. John tells us: “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but so the world might be saved through him.” (John 3:16-17)
Do we share our faith, share the good news of Jesus’ Resurrection with family, friends, and co-workers, or do we keep the news to ourselves out of fear of rejection, misunderstanding, or ridicule?
The world needs to be told about the risen Lord. If we don’t do it, the message may never be delivered. Christ is alive today to those who accept him.
May you have a blessed and life-giving Easter.
Posted on Thu, April 2, 2015
by Rev. Wilmer L. Todd