The Real Hero. Radical Grace from the Book of Romans (5:6-8)


Monument commemorating the nest of robins

"You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Rom 5:6-8, NIV2)

We can never fathom how much our Heavenly Father suffered when He saw His own Son dying on a cross. Still, we will also never imagine how much He suffered as He watched Adam and Eve follow their own way instead of His, a way that would lead all humankind to suffering and death.

Had Jesus avoided the shame of the cross, humankind would have been lost for eternity. We truly deserved death, but God thought otherwise. We can't fathom this kind of love, either!

Imagine being willing to die to save the life of a despicable criminal. None of us would even consider that. He deserves his lot! God, however, knew it was worthwhile, even though it hurt Him to the very core of His being. His love for us outshone all of this!

At times we can see glimpses in history of what salvation means. One of these glimpses happened during the battle of Gettysburg on July 1, 1863. An artillery shell smashed into a huge oak tree. Branches and pieces of splintered trunk rained down on the soldiers sheltered underneath.

One of these soldiers, from the 90th Pennsylvania Infantry, noticed that a nest filled with baby robins had survived its fall from the upper branches of the tree where it was once located. What should he do? The battle was fierce, and any miscalculation could cost his life. Still these baby robins seemed so vulnerable. Any of his comrades could unwittingly trample them to death. He couldn't let that happen.

He stood up amidst the heavy fighting, and running to the nest, he placed it tenderly back in the branches of the shattered tree, then he watched as the mother bird fluttered down onto the nest.

This soldier was willing to sacrifice his own life to save those chicks. Even though he had never even seen these baby robins before, his love for the tiny birds was evident. When he finally found shelter under the oak tree again, he must have smiled. Even amidst the fierce fighting of this senseless war, he had made a difference in the world.

His fellow soldiers noticed his bravery. Very soon, rumors spread about what had happened that day under the oak tree. Today a sculpture can be found on the very spot where the oak tree once stood. It displays a mother robin sitting on her babies to protect them.

That soldier was truly a hero that day!

But if the soldier was a hero, then even more so Jesus, our super hero! His love was truly evident when He willingly died for us. Wow! Thank you Jesus for coming to save me. I love you with all of my heart. You are my hero!

Rob Chaffart

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