ON EASTER SUNDAY 2012, a sixty-five-year-old man in Hollywood Island, Florida, gave his life to save a little girl who was drowning. Even if my father had known the outcome, his daughter later remarked, he still would have done it. He wouldnt have done it to be a hero, but somewhere in heaven, Im sure hes grinning. She knew her father felt that the little girl, Ruby, was worth the plunge.
The Hebrews writer says that for the joy set before him, Jesus endured the cross. What was that joy? Becoming known as mankinds hero? Proving his doubters wrong with the resurrection? Getting to go back to heaven? No, your redemption was that joy! As horrible as the cross was, Jesus accepted it with joy because he knew what it would do for you. Jesus endured the cross so that you might be set free, so that your sins might be forgiven, so that you might one day get to enjoy the glory of heaven. Jesus knew the outcome when he came to earth. But he took the plunge anyway, out of his extreme love for you.
Father, may your children today, who find themselves drowning in their struggles, feel your rescuing love. As they cry to you for help may they know you are already on your way. Remind them you will not be slow to come to their aid and that you will jump in with them wherever they are. And you take the plunge with joy!
-Steve Chiles, Senior Pastor, Shartel Church of God, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma