It was 3:00 A.M. in the multi-family house in New Brunswick, New Jersey, and a fire started as fifteen residents slept. A Deputy Fire Chief was first on the scene. He arrived alone in his car and discovered a building ablaze with its residents unaware of that deadly danger. The chief realized he didn’t have time to put on his usual protective gear. Minutes were precious at a time like this, so he rushed into that burning building and began pounding on doors, and screaming for people to get up and get out. One older man was unable to get out by himself, so this valiant rescuer carried him down the stairs, out to the street and then went in for more. All fifteen people got out alive. The man who saved their lives did not.
I’m Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about “Life-Saving Love.”
One man gave his life so others would not die. I owe my life to someone like that. The rescuer who gave His life so I-and many others like me-would not have to die eternally for the wrong things I’ve done. It’s what the Bible calls sin; -rebellion against the God who made us.
It’s a spiritual death penalty that hangs over the head of every one of us, because the Bible says that by God’s holy standards, “There is no one righteous, not even one” (Romans 3:10). Which kicks in the head the false hope of somehow I’m going to pay for my sin by doing a lot of good things. It will never be enough. That’s why God sent the Rescuer. Because God is holy, this sin couldn’t just be ignored or the penalty excused. If any human judge did that, he wouldn’t be worthy to be a judge any more.
But because God is love, He didn’t want you and me to pay that awful, hellish penalty, even though we deserve it. So He sent the only one who could be perfect and have no sin of His own to pay for. He sent His only Son, Jesus. And He went into that burning building we were in, and He did what it took to get us out and laid down His life to do it.
Listen to how Jesus Himself describes His rescue mission for you and me in John 10, beginning with verse 10, our word for today from the Word of God. He says, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. I lay down my life; no one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord.” Let’s get this straight, no one killed the Son of God. He made the tree He was hanging on. He made the men who put Him there. No, He thought you were worth laying down His life for. And in the greatest act of love in human history, He submitted to that cross to bear in His body and in His soul all the guilt, all the shame, all the pain, and all the hell of your sin and mine.
Then He rose from the dead to prove He can be our Life-Giver. He says about those whom He died for and who belong to Him, “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish.” That can be you today.
You and I are that man in the burning building who can’t get ourselves out. We have to let Jesus carry us to safety. Which means you have to reach for Him, put your arms around Him, and trust only Him to save you. Have you ever done that? Well, if not, you’re still in sin’s burning building with time running out. It isn’t enough just to know He died to save you. No, you’ve got to put your total trust in Him to save you. And this could be your day of rescue. This could be the day every sin you’ve ever done could be forgiven. This is the day your hell could be cancelled.
Grabbing Jesus to save you means you tell Him, “Jesus, you’re my only hope, and I’m Yours.” If you’ve never done that, please don’t wait another day. That act of faith brings you to safety in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
Look, it’s why we put our website together–ANewStory.com. Because we wanted you to have a landing place where you could come away knowing you belong to Him. Get there today, please.
The greatest tragedy of all would be if Jesus gave His life so you could live, and you lived and died without Him, paying a penalty He already paid. The Rescuer has come to you. He’s knocking on the door of your heart. Grab Him while you can.