‘Greater love has no-one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.’
John chapter15 verse 13.
During the war, whilst that infamous bridge known as ‘the bridge on the River Kwai’ was being built, the prisoners of war were under tremendous pressure. The Japanese were not kind to their prisoners and worked and starved them until they were literally skin and bone, and many died as a result.
One day a contingent of prisoners came in from their afternoon’s work. They put their shovels in the storeroom and stood to attention as the Japanese officer addressed them. A Japanese soldier informed the officer that one shovel was missing and the officer threatened to shoot every every prisoner if no-one accounted for the missing implement. He loaded his rifle and took aim. Suddenly a man stood two steps forward, stood to attention and said ‘I did it’. The officer was so angry that he beat the man to death. He was still lying there when the soldier came running out of the storeroom and apologised to the officer. There had been a miscount, he said, and all the shovels were accounted for. One man died for his friends.
Jesus took two steps forward for you and me. Totally innocent, he laid down his life so that we could live forever. All we have to do is to accept his gift, repenting of our sins and thanking him for his incredible love for us.
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© 2017 United Benefice of St Gerrans with St Anthony in Roseland and St Philleigh.