Luke 23:35-37, "The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at him. They said, "He saved others; let him save himself if he is God's Messiah, the Chosen One." The soldiers also came up and mocked him. They offered him wine vinegar and said, "If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself.""
If you travel up I-395 through Washington, D.C., and cross over the Potomac, you will likely cross the Arland D. Williams, Jr., Memorial Bridge. Who was Arland D. Williams, Jr.?
On January 13, 1982, he gave hope to five individuals at the cost of his own life. On that cold January day, Air Florida Flight 90 crashed into the icy Potomac. Ice on the wings prevented the plane from a successful take-off. Almost all of the passengers perished.
Five different times, a helicopter dropped a rope to save Williams. Five times, Williams passed the rope to other passengers in worse shape than he was. When the rope was extended to Williams the sixth time, he could not take hold, and succumbed to the frigid waters.
His heroism was not rash. Aware that his own strength was fading, he deliberately handed hope to someone else over the space of several minutes.
Jesus did not make a rash decision to give his life for ours. That Jesus would be an atoning sacrifice for us was his destiny from eternity past. We need only take the lifeline handed to us by his sacrificial death on the cross. We only need to take his lifeline of hope and hold on.
Prayer: Father God, today we thank you for Jesus, who did not take the rope so that he could pass us hope. Help us to grab hold of that rope the cross gives us and hold on with both hands. In Jesus name, amen.