When I was twelve years old our family moved to a town in the desert. After gym classes in the hot air at my new school, we rushed for the drinking fountain. Being skinny and young for my grade, I sometimes got pushed out of the way while waiting in line. One day my friend Jose, who was big and strong for his age, saw this happening. He stepped in and stuck out a strong arm to clear my way. “Hey!” he exclaimed, “You let Banks get a drink first!” I never had trouble at the drinking fountain again.
Jesus understood what it was like to face the ultimate unkindness of others. The Bible tells us, “He was despised and rejected by mankind” (Isaiah 53:3). But Jesus was not just a victim of suffering, He also became our advocate. By giving His life, Jesus opened a “new and living way” for us to enter into a relationship with God (Hebrews 10:20). He did for us what we could never do for ourselves, offering us the free gift of salvation when we repent of our sins and trust in Him.
Jesus is the best friend we could ever have. He said, “Whoever comes to me I will never drive away” (John 6:37). Others may hold us at arm’s length or even push us away, but God has opened His arms to us through the cross. How strong is our Savior! – James Banks
Love’s redeeming work is done, fought the fight, the battle won. Death in vain forbids him rise; Christ has opened paradise.
God’s free gift to us cost Him dearly.
- April 10, Vol. 25, Our Daily Bread