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News and views from the German-language region of Europe

June 28, 2019

Dying for someone else

Filed under Sabbath Thoughts

In early June the news media in the state of Iowa hailed a 33 year old father a hero after he saved his daughter from an attack dog that had mauled her. The police were called to the house, and when they arrived, they found the father lying on his back in the front yard as the dog attacked him after he had gotten the dog off his daughter. The attack dog had locked his bite on the father and would not let go, so the police had to use their pistols to free the man from the dog's grip.

After the dog was removed from him, the father asked the police to render first aid to his daughter, who had been injured in the attack. Both the father and daughter were then taken to the hospital for treatment. The father's injuries were so severe that he died in the hospital. His daughter survived and was able to be released a few days later. "He had defended his daughter and undoubtedly saved her life by his actions, " was part of the police press release on the incident.

As tragic as this story is, it reminds of how great and far-reaching the sacrifice of Jesus Christ was for each of us — and all mankind. The apostle Paul tells us in Romans 5, verse 7: "For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die." In this case it was a daughter being saved by her dad. He surely did not know that his efforts would cost him his life, but he must of known that personal injury was possible because of the situation.

"But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us," Paul adds (Romans 5:8). This also involves a family relationship, but one that was one-sided at the time of Christ's sacrifice. God loved us, but we didn't love Him, because we were sinners: "For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly" (Romans 5:6).

Yes, Christ died for us all at a time when we were sinners. Among those sinners are people like the one who shouted "Crucify him!" in front of Pontius Pilate, when Pilate asked them what he should do with Jesus.

We can understand the love of a father for his daughter. But we can only praise God from the bottom of our heart for His love for people who are or were sinners. We accept that love in deep thankfulness — and respond by nurturing our relationship to Him.

With these thoughts I wish everyone a rewarding Sabbath!

Paul Kieffer's blog with personal insights and news from the German-language region in Europe.

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