He Gave His Life

This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you. You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you. – John 15:12-16.

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. – Romans 5:8.

Jennette Smith has a friend to thank for saving her life. Jennette was hiking with three other friends about 15 miles southeast of Salt Lake City in Big Cottonwood Canyon where Seth Buhr, 22, heroically saved her life. The group was taking a break beside a waterfall when two of Jennette and Buhr’s friends noticed a shift in the rocks. They yelled to warn them and in response Seth pushed Smith out of the way and into a pool saving her life. But Seth gave his own life as the boulder crashed into him crushing him. His friends were unable to move the boulder and a rescue crew had to use ropes and pulleys to lift the boulder before Buhr’s body could be removed. One of the hiker’s Peggy Faulkner said, “She’d have been killed. He saved her life. Just a freaky accident. Nobody was above the rock. It’s scary stuff, nature.”

How would you react if you were Jennette Smith? A friend has died, taking your place and there is no doubt that you would have died if not for his heroic actions. Most likely you would have undying gratitude and love for the friend who has given you life at the expense of his own. There would be no way to ever repay this act of love except perhaps to live your life in such a way as to bring honor to your friend. Surely you would not want to waste your life, which you are now living at the cost of another’s. Now, you would know how valuable your life is and you would want your life to mean something and to bring good into this world. How could you ever forget the price that has been paid for you to have life? You would never forget and would always remember being grateful and thankful forever.

The substitutionary death of Jesus on the cross is incomprehensible to the mind of man because He did not give His life for a friend but for His enemies. As the Bible says in Romans 5:8 Jesus gave His life while “we were still sinners.” If sinners, then we were opposed to the holiness of God and if opposed to the absolute holiness of God we were His enemies. Who would die for their enemy? Even though incomprehensible to our minds it is still true and we accept it by faith.

Knowing at what great cost we have been given eternal life how much more should we want to honor the memory of the One who has given His life for us. We can never repay this act of heroism, this act of sacrifice but certainly we should want to live our lives in such a way as to bring honor to His Name. Is this how you have been living your life?

(How would you feel if someone, a friend, died so that you might live? How would you live your life then?)

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