By David A. Sargent
Dana Keeton told this story in The Democratic Union of Lawrenceburg, Tennessee:
The sun had just risen on a hot August day in 1944 in the small village of Plelo, in German-occupied France. The 15-year-old boy did not know why he and the other citizens of Plelo had been lined up before a firing squad in the middle of the town square. Perhaps they were being punished for harboring a unit of Marquisards, the French underground freedom fighters. Perhaps they were merely to satisfy the blood lust of the German commanding officer who, the evening before, had routed the small group of Marquisard scouts. All the boy knew was that he was about to die.It's hard to forget your savior!
As he stood before the firing squad, he remembered the carefree days of his early childhood, before the war, spent roaming the green of the French countryside. He thought about all he would miss by never growing up. Most of all he was terrified of dying. “How will the bullets feel ripping through my body?” he wondered. He hoped no one could hear the whimperings coming from deep in his throat every time he exhaled.
Suddenly, the boy heard the sound of exploding mortar shells beyond the limits of his little village. Quickly rolling tanks could also be heard. The Germans were forced to abandon the firing squad and face a small unit of U.S. tanks with twenty GI's led by Bob Hamsley, a corporal in Patton's Third Army. A Marquisard captain had asked Hamsley for help. [Hamsley and his unit overtook the Germans.]
In 1990 the town of Plelo honored Bob Hamsley on the very spot where dozens of the town's citizens would have died if not for him. The man who initiated the search for Hamsley and the ceremony honoring him was the former mayor of Plelo, that same 15-year-old boy. He had determined to find the man who saved his life and honor him. *
Consider the fact that because of our sins, you and I deserve to face the “firing squad” and suffer the penalty for our sins. “For the wages of sin is death…” (Romans 6:23).
But God sent Jesus to rescue us! In order to rescue us from sin, however, Jesus had to give His life for us and die on the cross to redeem us from sin. “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.” – 1 Peter 2:24
Jesus will save those who accept His offer of salvation and life by placing their faith and trust in Him (Acts 16:30-31), turning from sin in repentance (Acts 17:30-31), confessing Jesus before men (Romans 10:9-10), and being baptized (immersed) into Christ for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38). He will continue to cleanse from sin those who continue to demonstrate gratitude for their Savior by walking in the light of His Word (1 John 1:7).
When we were facing the “firing squad” for harboring sin in our lives, Jesus came to our rescue. He took our place and suffered the punishment for our sins for us.
It's hard to forget your Savior!
Won’t YOU accept the Savior’s offer of salvation and eternal life by committing your life to Him today?
- David A. Sargent, minister for the Church of Christ at Creekwood in Mobile, Alabama, is also the editor of an electronic devotional entitled "Living Water." To learn more about this excellent resource contact David via their website: http://www.creekwoodcc.org
* Tim Stafford, Florence, Alabama, quoted in Leadership, Winter Quarter, p. 49 as quoted in “illustrations” in http://www.crosswalk.com