No Greater Love!

No greater love does someone have than this: to lay down their life for a friend. Jesus laid down his life for us. On March 5, 1942, an old, four stack destroyer, the USS Pope on its third engagement at the battle of the Java Sea, was badly damaged and eventually sunk. The crew was rescued and captured by the Japanese. They were placed in a POW camp. It was not an easy existence. If you read the book Unbroken, the story of Louis Zamperini then you know torture was common, capricious, and lethal. Hope among the captives often disappeared.

There was a day in April when one of the Americans, a lieutenant, didn’t bow deeply enough to his guard. The guard reacted. Using his swagger stick, he rained down blows upon the American’s back until he lay face down in the dirt, semi-conscious and unable to raise a hand to protect himself. There would be no mercy.

In the center of the camp, the prisoner was strung up to receive 50 lashes with a hawser, a heavy rope. The lieutenant already bruised and battered from his beating showed little reaction as the first lash of the hawser ripped his back. The first blow followed by another. The guard was in his rhythm. By the 15th stoke the Lieutenant was unconscious.

There was no question, without a miracle, the captive would not survive. The miracle came. That miracle came in the person of lieutenant Richard Antrim of the USS Pope. From his position he called out one word. “Enough”. A silence fell over the entire camp. “Enough”, I’ll take the rest. Antrim added. The Japanese stopped. They were shocked, stunned. They had not expected such an unselfish, loving act. Thinking he might have been misunderstood, Antrim rephrased and amplified what he had said. “Enough, if there are to be 50 lashes, I will take the rest of them for him.”

Everyone understood. Slowly the Japanese began to understand the moment when someone was willing to suffer, and maybe even die for another. Antrim’s actions changed things. The punishment ended.

Our punishment has been paid for. No more punishment from our sins. Yes, Satan can bring all kinds of hurt into our lives. Yes, he will take what life brings our way through disappointments and hard times that are simply life because of sin and try to use those things in our lives to discourage us. But Jesus Christ came to free us from sin and what we can do best is take those times in our lives that look dark and shine the light of Jesus into them. Let’s pray today that God’s light will destroy the darkness of Satan in us and around us.

Published by advicefromyourunclerobin

Robin is a Pastor, has been for 40 years. He is married to Jayme and together they have 7 children. Candace, Courtney, Cassidy, Caleb, Kally, Collin & Jacob. Robin & Jayme have great and awesome grandchildren. He loves his Webb City Cardinals, the St. Louis Cardinals. He also tries to go golfing and fly fishing whenever he can - but not nearly enough.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: