>> Monday, February 28, 2011
By this time, the two teenagers were sitting up straight in the pew, anxiously waiting for the next words to come out of the old minister’s mouth.
“The father,” he continued, “knew his son would step into eternity with Jesus and he could not bear the thought of his son’s friend stepping into an eternity without Jesus. Therefore, he sacrificed his son to save his son’s friend.
How great is the love of God that He should do the same for us. Our heavenly Father sacrificed His only begotten Son that we could be saved. I urge you to accept His offer to rescue you. Take hold of the life line He is throwing out to you in this service.”
With that, the old man turned and sat back down in his chair as silence filled the room. The pastor walked slowly to the pulpit and delivered a brief sermon with an invitation at the end. However, no one responded to the appeal.
Within minutes after the serviced ended, the two teenagers were at the old man’s side.
“That was a nice story,” politely stated one of them, “but I don’t think it was very realistic for a father to give up his only son’s life in hopes that the other boy would become a Christian.”
“Well, you’ve got a point there,” the old man replied, glancing down at his worn Bible. A big smile broadened his narrow face. He once again looked up at the boys and said, “It sure isn’t very realistic, is it? But I’m standing here today to tell you that story gives me a glimpse of what it must have been like for God to give up His son for me. You see…
I was that father, and your pastor is my son’s friend!”
“For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”
John 3:16 (NLT)