Would you be willing to sacrifice your son for someone you never knew so that he may live? It is almost impossible to comprehend how anyone could sacrifice a child, let alone his only son in order to pay for the consequences of someone else’s actions.

A story was told many years ago of an elderly white haired man who was attending a Worship Service in a church.  No one knew him.  Yet, when he stood to speak to the congregation a hush fell over the audience.

"A father, his son, and a friend of his son were sailing off the Pacific Coast," he began, "when a fast approaching storm blocked any attempt to get back to shore.  The waves were so high, that even though the father was an experienced sailor, he could not keep the boat upright, and the three were swept out into the ocean."

The man hesitated for a moment, making eye contact with two teenagers who were, for the first time since the service began, looking somewhat interested in his story.

He  continued, "Grabbing a rescue line, the father had to make the most excruciating decision of his which boy he would throw the other end of the line.  He only had seconds to make the decision.”

“The father knew that his son was a Christian,” he continued, “and he also knew that his son's friend was not.  The agony of his decision could not be matched by the torrent of the waves.  As the father yelled out, 'I love you, son!' he threw the line to his son's friend.  By the time he pulled the friend back to the capsized boat, his son had disappeared beyond the raging swells into the black of night.  His body was never recovered."

By this time, the two teenagers were sitting straighter in the pew, waiting for the next words to come out of the old man's mouth.

"The father," he continued, "knew his son would step into eternity with Jesus, and he could not bear the thought of his son's friend stepping into an eternity without Jesus.  Therefore, he sacrificed his son.  How great is the love of God that He should do the same for us."   With that, the old white haired man turned and sat back down in his chair as silence filled the sanctuary. 

Within minutes after the service ended, the two teenagers were at the old man's side.  "That was a nice story," politely stated one of the boys,  "but I don't think it was very realistic for a father to give up his son's life in hopes that the other boy would become a Christian."

"Well, you've got a point there," the old man replied, glancing down at his worn Bible.  A big smile broadened his narrow face, and he once again looked up at the boys and said, "It sure isn't very realistic, is it?  But I'm standing here today to tell you, THAT story gives me a glimpse of what it must have been like for God to give up His Son for me.  You see....I am the son's friend!"
(Thought for the Day by Alan Smith, August 10, 2000, alansmith @ boone. net)

Paul writes these powerful words,
"For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.  For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die.  But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:6-8)

The hymn writer penned these moving words,

    I(Jesus) gave my life for Thee, My precious blood I shed
    That thou might’st randsomed be and quickened from the dead;
    I gave, I gave My life for thee- what hast thou given for me?

(Excerpts of this original article were published in the “Your Faith” page of the Newark Advocate, OH, 2003)