“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”
— John 13:34
In Ernest Gordon’s famous book Miracle on the River Kwai, he tells the story of captured soldiers who had been forced by their Japanese captors to labor on a jungle railroad. The group was extremely fragmented, but one afternoon something happened. A shovel was missing. The officer in charge became enraged. He demanded that the missing shovel be produced. When nobody in the squadron budged, the officer got his gun and threatened to kill them all on the spot.
Finally, one man stepped forward. So the officer put away his gun, picked up a shovel, and beat the man to death. When it was over, the survivors picked up the corpse and carried it with them to the second tool check. There had been a miscount at the first checkpoint—no shovel was missing.
The word spread like wildfire through the whole camp. An innocent man had been willing to die to save the others. The incident had a profound effect.… The men began to treat each other like brothers. When the victorious Allies swept in, the survivors, human skeletons, lined up in front of their captors and insisted, “No more hatred. No more killing. Now what we need is forgiveness.”
It’s amazing the power that sacrificial love can have. And as those who are in Christ look to the cross and see the sacrificial love that was shown there, they should also be moved to show it to others!
Pray that God would give you a new appreciation for the sacrificial love that Christ showed you when He died on the cross. Ask that He would empower you to show that kind of love to others as well!