A DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT by Lois Coady
As we approach Good Friday, I am reminded of the tremendous sacrifice God made for us, allowing his one and only Son to go through the trials that he did at the hands of selfish men, and then be brutally crucified on the cross alongside two criminals.
Can you imagine giving up a child to save people who, at the time, did not understand or appreciate the significance of that sacrifice?
I can’t. In fact, just thinking about that takes me back to 1994 when our son, Noel, was in the Marine Corp. Noel went into the Marines right out of high school at the tender age of 18. He was nearing the end of his 4-year enlistment when he was deployed to Haiti. It was September 15th when President Bill Clinton made the controversial decision to deploy 20,000 American troops in an action called Operation Restore Freedom to restore democracy in Haiti. They were not sure what kind of resistance they would meet but felt that it could be a bloody exchange and I was terrified for our son and the other young men and women being sent into harm’s way.
I remember the President’s address on television that night informing the nation about this action and the deployment of our troops. At one point, the President said, “I don’t take deploying our sons and daughters into harm’s way lightly.” Without hesitation and with tears streaming down my face, I spoke back to the television as if the President was right in front of me, “Mr. President, this is not your son you are deploying, this is my one and only son.”
As those words left my lips it suddenly and profoundly hit me, the enormity of God’s sacrifice for us. He too gave his one and only perfect Son for you and me.
When I thought about how precious Noel is to me, I knew in my heart how precious Jesus is to God. Was I willing to give my son up to help save the Haitian people? My heart was crying “No!” And yet, our God gave Jesus up. He knew that sacrificing Jesus would mean that many people would not realize who he was and that they would actually reject him but God also knew that many other people would come to know Jesus as their Lord and that was his goal.
2 Corinthians 5:21 tells us that, “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
I realized that God’s love for me is so deep that He could not stand the idea of me not being with Him for eternity. As a result, he was willing to send Jesus to earth to take on the form of a human man, to be persecuted by those who called themselves godly and then hung on a cross as the final blood sacrifice for my sin. That meant when I accepted Jesus as my personal Savior, I became a child of God. What an awesome, unspeakable gift of love we have been given. What amazing love!