Matthew 27:50 (ESV)
And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit.
Ernest Gordon was a World War II prisoner-of-war who survived the horrors of the Japanese death camp by the River Kwai in Burma. In his book "Through the Valley of the Kwai", Gordon described how the unbearable despair of the death-camp was transformed into a spiritual triumph of a "Church Without Walls." The POWs were turned into slaves and forced to build a Railroad of Death for transporting prisoners to death camps and Japanese soldiers to the battlefront. These prisoners were tortured, diseased, starved and worked to the point of exhaustion. "Every man's hand was against every other's," wrote Gordon.
At one day's end, as the tools were being counted and the prisoners were about to return to their camp, the Japanese guard declared that a shovel was missing. He demanded to know which prisoner had stolen the shovel. "All die! All die!" Shrieked the guard. He cocked his rifle, aimed it at the prisoners and promised to shoot them all. At that moment one Scottish soldier stepped forward. Standing at attention he calmly declared, "I did it." The guard viciously clubbed the hapless prisoner to death. When they returned to the camp, the tools were again counted, and no shovel was missing. That soldier sacrificed his life so that his companions could live.
Christ willingly laid down His life so we may know God.
Dear Lord, we praise and thank You for Your matchless love and Your sacrifice on the Cross for our sins. Give us the wisdom to share that great news with those who cross our path today. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.