Amazing acts of courage

Tips for Life

by Alan Bailey

In a world where greed and selfishness seem so prevalent, it is heartening to hear of something very different. Now and again a courageous and unselfish act takes the headlines. In recent days we have heard of someone risking his life by running into a burning house to rescue a small child. Another case saw a man furiously working to save a person trapped in a burning vehicle, dragging him free and in the process taking the chance on being badly injured.

These brave people deserve a medal and will probably get one in due course.

Then there are others
Many unselfish actions take place without any or many others knowing about them. Think of mothers in crisis areas going to extremes to save their sick or starving children. Some go as far as forfeiting their own lives. There are no medals for them.

Not long ago, a trooper died in Iraq, throwing himself between an explosion and his fellow soldiers. He had but a brief moment to decide what to do, but his sacrificial attitude meant safety for others.

The greatest of all
Yes, there are numerous examples that could be quoted, but the event that eclipses all others is the one Easter is all about. It does not just have local and temporary significance, it has cosmic significance. It is life-changing, history-changing, and destiny-changing. Of course, I refer to the death of Jesus Christ on the cross.

The Bible makes it very clear that this death was planned, not simply by Christ’s enemies, but by God Himself. Jesus was on that cross as a substitute for sinners, namely, all of us. Christ died for us, the Bible says. It shows that he took our place and accepted our wrongs as if they were his own.

As one children’s song says, “There was no other good enough to pay the price of sin; He only could unlock the gate of heaven and let us in.”

At what a cost!
We have talked about unselfish, personal sacrifice. This is the zenith of sacrifice. The one, who deserved praise, received sneering and scorn. The one, who was absolutely pure, was identified with human rottenness. He who was utterly innocent agonised indescribably in His body, mind and spirit for the sake of those whom he loved. On our part we cannot say we deserved this. No, it happened because of the grace of God. That is, great favour was, and is shown to us by a very patient God.

How do we say thanks?
When Jesus rose from death He left many unmistakable proofs that He had done so. Those who know Him, experience Him as a living Saviour, not as a dead god, so all who hear of His sacrifice must respond in some way.

This Easter, why not bow your head and ask Jesus to save you, to come right into your life and be Lord, ruling your life; nothing less than this is a fitting response to His death on our behalf.

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