Saved At Sea

After a few of the usual Sunday evening hymns, the church’s pastor
once again slowly stood up, walked over to the pulpit, and gave a very
brief introduction of his childhood friend. With that, an elderly man
stepped up to the pulpit to speak, "A father, his son, and a friend of
his son were sailing off the Pacific Coast," he began, "when a fast
approaching storm blocked any attempt to get back to shore. The waves
were so high, that even though the father was an experienced sailor,
he could not keep the boat upright, and the three were swept into the
ocean."

The old man hesitated for a moment, making eye contact with two
teenagers who were, for the first time since the service began,
looking somewhat interested in his story. He continued, "Grabbing a
rescue line, the father had to make the most excruciating decision of
his life…. to which boy would he throw the other end of the line. He
only had seconds to make the decision.

The father knew that his son was a Christian, and he also knew that
his son’s friend was not. The agony of his decision could not be
matched by even the torrent of waves. "As the father yelled out, ‘I
love you, son!’ he threw the line to his son’s friend. By the time he
pulled the friend back to the capsized boat, his son had disappeared
beyond the raging swells into the black of night. His son’s body was
never recovered."

By this time, the two teenagers were listening very attentively,
waiting for the next words to come out of the old man’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. Oh,
how great is the love of God that He should do the same for us!"

With that, the old man turned and sat back down in his chair as
silence filled the room. Within minutes after the service ended, the
two teenagers were at the old man’s side. "That was an awesome story,"
said one of the boys, "but I don’t think it was very logical for a
father to give up his 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, and he once
again looked up at the boys and said, "It sure isn’t very logical, is
it? But I’m here today to tell you the fact THAT story gives me a
glimpse of what it must have been like for God to give up His Son for me."

"You see, boys… I was the son’s friend."

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