Ernest Gordon was a prisoner held by the Japanese during WW2. The captors in his camp were forced to build a railroad through the jungle and over the River Kwai. The prisoners were treated inhumanely and soon fell into living the law of the jungle where every man was out for himself.
At the end of each day, the tools were counted. One day, it was discovered a shovel was missing. A guard became enraged and demanded to know who had stolen it. When nobody confessed, he screamed, “All die! All die!” He raised his gun to shoot the first man in line when suddenly, a man stepped out of the ranks and said, “I did it.”
The guard began furiously kicking and beating the man. He eventually brought down the butt of his rifle on the man’s head. As the man fell motionless to the ground, the guard continued to kick him. After the violence stopped, the prisoners carried the man’s body back to the camp.
That evening, the tools were recounted and it was discovered there were no missing shovels. There had been a miscount. The man was innocent and sacrificed his life to save his fellow prisoners.
The man’s selfless sacrifice changed the attitude in the camp. Everyone began looking out for their fellow prisoner. Hatred was still present but there was also love. Death did not stop but there was also life. (Gordon, Ernest. Miracle on the River Kwai. Collins Publishers, 1963.)
This story reminds me of Jesus’ sacrifice. If you’ve ever wondered about this sacrifice, the following are some questions I’ve received along with answers.
Why does God hate sin?
- Because sin separates us from Him.
“But the trouble is that your sins have cut you off from God. Because of sin he has turned his face away from you and will not listen anymore.” Isaiah 59:2
So there’s punishment for sin?
- The punishment for sin is death. I don’t like it any more than you but we don’t make the rules. God does. So yes, there is punishment and it’s harsh.
“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23
“Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.” Revelation 20:15
Is there a way to get out of this punishment?
- Absolutely! And it is so easy! Through Jesus!
I don’t get it! How does Jesus make a difference?
- Just as the man stepped out of ranks to take the punishment for the missing shovel, Jesus steps in front of us and takes our death sentence for us.
“He personally carried the load of our sins in his own body when he died on the cross so that we can be finished with sin and live a good life from now on. For his wounds have healed ours!” 1 Peter 2:24
We all die. So I don’t understand how this saves me from death.
- We do not avoid death in this life. But death is just a doorway to spending eternity in heaven with God or in hell without Him. God loves us and wants our eternity to be spent with Him so He provided the ultimate sacrifice. I would die for my children but I wouldn’t sacrifice them for anybody. My love has a limit. God’s love doesn’t.
“For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son so that anyone who believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16
So what exactly do I have to do to be saved?
- Believe Jesus is the Son of God, He came to live as a man on this earth, He died for your sins, and overcame the bonds of death by rising again on the 3rd
“He then brought them out and asked, ‘Sirs, what must I do to be saved?’ They replied, ‘Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.’” Acts 16:30-31
- Confess with your mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord.
“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9
Simply pray: “Lord Jesus, I believe that you are the son of God and that you came to earth and died for my sins and rose again on the 3rd day. I confess that I am a sinner and in need of your salvation. I come to you now and ask that you will come into my life, be my Lord and savior, and forgive me of my sins. In Jesus’ name, amen!”
It’s that simple. Next week I’ll explain the next steps and changes that occur with this decision. Meanwhile, I would LOVE for you to message me if you prayed this prayer.
© 2015 Connie Davis Johnson