“For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit” – 1 Corinthians 12:8-9.
2011 was the mid-way point in the Afghan-American war on terror. “Specialist Jamison Lindskog rushed headlong into the ambush to treat the wounded. Immobilized by a bullet through the chest, he spent the remaining thirty minutes of his life shouting out instructions so that those around him could be treated, evacuated, and saved” (by Paul Sauer, American Lutheran Publicity Bureau Forum Letter, August 2021). Specialist Jamison Lindskog without thought to his safety, raced into a hail of bullets with the intent of saving the lives of those injured brother and sisters whom he valued.
Sacrifice is brutal. It requires the willingness to put one’s life at risk to help others in trouble. Courage to act usually includes personal fear. Yet despite our personal fears, our willingness to value another life over our life puts us in the position to guard and protect others. Moms and Dads, we know this courage to well. Do we not? Protecting our children is paramount in our sense of importance. To some degree, we may understand God and the Jerusalem moment of salvation. Seeing the need to act on behalf of His children, God enters our world as Jesus, a 6-pound baby. Mary and Joseph are tasked with rearing the Savior of our world. The four-gospel records Jesus’ life, teachings, and miracles. We notice the training Jesus gives the twelve disciples preparing them to proclaim a special and unique message on forgiveness, grace, mercy, and love. And yes, this message is revealed to them and to us through the cross of Calvary and the resurrected presence of Jesus on this first Easter Sunday morning. Sin is forgiven, and we have an inheritance of life eternal!
Jesus’ sacrifice becomes more real to us when we pause and reflect upon our own suffering – family friction, health struggles, mental overload, a death of one we are close to. It is in these painful moments that the cross and empty tomb connects us to our Savior! He knows our pain; he knows our turmoil stirring in our soul. Jesus understands! Jesus knows! Jesus is with us!
God is with us! Martin Luther, the Reformer, knew this truth! We are not alone! Scripture is God’s means of speaking to us! The books, chapters, and verses reveal to us God’s continued dedication to us! We read about this great love given to us through His Law and Gospel! His love comes to life in the Messiah, Jesus!
Please, know God is with you always!
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy” - Romans 15:13.