Much has been said lately about heroes. And rightfully so. The rescue workers rushing headlong into the burning towers to save the thousands trapped there come to mind.
And then we think about our soldiers and marines who “gave the last full measure of devotion” on a faraway battlefield. Yesterday I attended the memorial service of Pfc. Jonathan Yanney, who was killed in Afghanistan August 18, 2009, by a roadside bomb. Jon gave up his life for a cause greater than himself and will always be remembered here in our little town as a hero. And I will remember him, for I taught him in high school and enjoyed his presence, smile, and integrity. He was my friend.
And so we all are looking for a hero–someone who would lay down their life for us. That is what touches our hard and, at times, cynical hearts. We are wired that way–to be touched when we realize that someone was so selfless as to put others before themselves–someone to face the peril of fires and the danger posed by those with dark designs.
And so it was yesterday that my heart was touched, remembering the 20 year old soldier, who sat in my class just three years ago, and laughed at my antics as I coaxed him and his classmates into learning the lesson of the day.
And as I sat there in the service, trying to dam up the warm salt water that fell from my eyes, I learned the lesson of the day. I thought of Christ and realized that He is the ultimate hero. For He showed us what love really is.
He had said, “Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (1). And in order to express God’s nature, which is Love, He would have to “lay down his life” for His crowning creation, Mankind. That would show them who and what God is.
But God, the Immortal One, was just that–immortal, and could not die. So in His infinite wisdom, He anointed a special human being that would house Him fully and would become the sacrificial Lamb of God and mankind’s anointed King of kings.
This man was the Anointed One, the One appointed by the Father to do a very heroic act. He would be referred to as Christ–Christos in the Greek, meaning the anointed one.
Yes, Christ is our Hero. He showed what love is by laying down His life willingly for us. It is His selfless sacrifice for others that still touches man’s heart, that still shakes the flimsy foundations of our lives, that still speaks to us 2,000 years later.
Christ is our Great Hero, for all the prophets testify about Him, that everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins through His name (2). All because He loved us and laid down His life for His friends. KWH
- John 15: 13
- Acts 10: 43