Greater love has no one than this,
that he lay down his life for his friends.
It is difficult to grasp the love our Heaveny Father has for me. Nothing can compare. I am amazed that He loves me and gave up His life for me. Me, "chief of all sinners." He died for me "Just As I Am," yet He had a sinless life.
Peter testified, "He committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in his mouth" (1 Peter 2:22). Even his enemies knew they could find no fault in him (Matthew 22:16)
"I find no guilt in him," Pilate said (John 19:6).
John Piper wrote, "... the life he gave for us was no ordinary life of human value—which would be great enough. It was a sinless life. A life of perfectly balanced joy and sorrow, tenderness and toughness, justice and mercy, grief and anger, speech and silence, prayer and action. This life, of all the lives that have ever lived, was the most valuable life. The most worthy of living, the least worthy of dying. This is the life he gave for you—that you might live."
I heard a story of a group of American prisoners of war during the Second World War, who were made to do hard labor in a prison camp. Each had a shovel and would dig all day, then come in and give an account of his tool in the evening. One evening 20 prisoners were lined up by the guard and the shovels were counted. The guard counted nineteen shovels and turned in rage on the 20 prisoners demanding to know which one did not bring his shovel back. No one responded. The guard took out his gun and said that he would shoot five men if the guilty prisoner did not step forward. After a moment of tense silence, a 19-year-old soldier—the age of my Griff—stepped forward with his head bowed down. The guard grabbed him, took him to the side and shot him in the head, and turned to warn the others that they better be more careful than he was. When he left, the men counted the shovels and there were 20. The guard had miscounted. And the boy had given his life for his friends.
Can you imagine the emotions that must have filled their hearts as they knelt down over his body? In the five or ten seconds of silence, the boy had weighed his whole future in the balance—a future wife, an education, a new truck, children, a career, fishing with his dad—and he chose death so that others might live.