I noticed a status post on Facebook the other day, although simple, yet powerful. It read, “The missing component to a lot of problems are a result of the lack of love for others.” It reminded me of a story about Cyrus, the founder of the Persian Empire. The story goes that Cyrus once captured a prince and his family. When they came before him, the monarch asked the prisoner, "What will you give me if I release you?" "I’ll give you half of my wealth," he replied. "And what will you give me if I release your children?" "Everything I possess,” he cried. "And if I release your wife?" The young prisoner replied, "Your Majesty, I will give myself." The young prince’s self-sacrificial love and devotion for his family so moved Cyrus with compassion and mercy, it caused Cyrus to let them all go free. As they returned home, the prince said to his wife, "Wasn't Cyrus a handsome man?” With a look of deep love for her husband, she said to him, "I didn't notice. I could only keep my eyes on you, the one who was willing to give himself for me."
The author of this story is unknown and I do not know if this was a true story or not. However, it serves as an illustration to Jesus sacrificing His life on the cross. Why would Christ face a brutal and agonizing death for sinners who put Him there? John 3:16 tells us why, “For God so loved the world that He gave His Only begotten Son…” It was the deep sacrificial love Jesus has for us that caused Him to lay down His life. Our sins made us enemies of God. We needed to be redeemed and reconciled back to God. The love of Jesus made that possible, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation” (Romans 5:8-11).
Imagine a world bearing this type of love for each other? How wonderful would it be? We may not be able to help save the whole world, but we can show the love of God on our hearts as we reach out to others. As we walk with Jesus each day, let us never forget that His love has freed us from eternal bondage. Showing others this love can cause them to turn to Christ so they are set free.