James C. Guy

    Sports stars, wealthy business owners, famous movie stars, and others like them have all been set up as our heros in the past.  While it’s true, many do good things for people and share their fame and fortune with the less fortunate, does that really make them a hero?  Some, undoubtedly do it from a good heart and pure motives.  Others may do so out of a sense of obligation, or because their managers and advisers suggest they do it for good public relations.  Whatever the reason, however noble their gift, does it really make them a hero?
    On September 11, 2001 the world’s perspective of a hero changed.  Before, the famous were the heros.  Afterwards it was the infamous and unknown.  Why were firefighters, police, volunteers, and other public service people now central in our definition of hero?  Perhaps it is because we learned the true meaning of a hero.  They didn't just give of their means, but they gave of themselves.  Heros aren’t those who have been given the opportunity to be famous, rich, or athletic.  Heros aren’t even those of that class who are willing to give a small percentage, though it may be a large amount, of their income for charitable causes.  A true hero is one who makes a true sacrifice for others.  Those firefighters went into the Trade Towers to help others expecting nothing in return.  They were willing to risk their lives for the lives of other people.  They didn’t gain anything from it, nor did their families.  Instead, they just gave.  They sacrificed.

    Somewhere near what is now known as A.D. 33, there was another example of a hero.  A man who gave His life for others, getting nothing in return.  In fact, he was ridiculed even in the process of making that sacrifice.  Yet, He did it out of love.  He made the supreme sacrifice, and we now consider Him the supreme hero.  In John 10:18, Jesus said, “No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself.”  It was a true gift and sacrifice of Himself.  Why would He do such a thing for a people who didn’t deserve it at all?  “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son...” (John 3:16).  Jesus was never a baseball star. He wasn’t rich.  He wasn’t famous by the world’s standards.  But, He was and is the greatest hero that ever lived.

    Why?  He did give His own life which is the greatest expression of love for others (John 15:13).  But, how does that make Him any greater a hero than those who gave their lives in the trade towers, and in many other instances where people have died for the good of others?  The difference is that in doing so, He took upon Himself the most painful thing imaginable: OUR SIN.  He was and is the great spotless Lamb of God, yet He sacrificed Himself in our place.  Sacrifice: That’s what makes a hero.  The perfect sacrifice: that’s what makes Christ our greatest hero.
 What is your perspective of a true hero?  Is Jesus the greatest hero in your life?

Copyright © 2002-James C. Guy – All rights reserved.
*Permission granted to reprint for church or ministry use in free material (i.e. church bulletins, classes, sermons, etc.)

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