Saturday, June 12, 2010

Some deeds I admire.

This could quite a list, but I'll stick to two particular ones. We all have our heroes, although we have to keep hero-worship under control, because it can be a misleading distraction.
Did you ever hear of Captain Oates? He was a member of Robert Falcon Scott's Antarctic expedition in 1911. They set out to reach the South Pole, hoping to be the first people to do so. When they reached the Pole they found that another group, led by Roald Amundsen, had beaten them to it. So, disappointed, they set off back to their base, and ran into trouble with fatigue and failing health. Captain Oates realized that his friends were being slowed down by him, because he was the worst affected, and that the others might lose their lives trying to save him.
So he walked out into the freezing cold, knowing he would die, to give the others a better chance. Apparently his last words were, (paraphrased) "I'm going for a walk, gentlemen. I may be a little time."
When I read that I couldn't think of anything else for nearly an hour. That took guts - and it took care for others to put them first, giving up his own life.
Another example was a soldier, Colonel O.C. Hannay. He was a Scotsman, and an officer in the British Army.During the South African War (1899-1902) he was given an order that he knew would cost the lives of too many of his men. The order was to make a mounted charge against a strong postition, which Hannay knew would have just got his men slaughtered. But he had his orders. His orders were "You are to charge the enemy position." Hannay took the view that, right, HIS orders were to charge this strong enemy position, even if it was suicidal.
So he obeyed his orders. He charged - on his own. He gave NO order to his men to follow him, and charged the enemy alone. He was shot down from his horse and killed, but he had saved his men from pointless slaughter.
That action was noble and brave. He gave up his own life to spare others.
Those two men could only save the bodies of others. They could not save souls. They must have cared enough about others to do what they could, whatever it amounted to.
The human race must look quite contemptible to God, with all the cruel and stupid things we do. You could wonder how much suffering we are worth going through for.
Crucifiction has been described by doctors as the most agonizing way to die. But Jesus Christ undertook to suffer it, for the sake of others. Not only that, but according to the Scriptures, when His body died His soul descended tnto Hell. He literally has been to Hell and back. But Hell couldn't hold Him. It had no claim because he was guilty of no wrongdoin.
Men like Oates and Hannay, and women too, have gone to death to save the bodies of others. I hope they were saved. Jesus Christ went through death to Hell itself,to save our souls.
Self-sacrificing heroes and heroines reflect the awesome example of Jesus Christ, because Humankind is made in the image of God and we can sometimes reflect His glory when we do what is right and good. But they can only save bodies. One only can save our souls, and He suffered hideously to do so. God be thanked. Come again, Lord Jesus.


Farrah said...

John 15
[13] Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
[14] Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.
[15] Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.

Andrew Clarke said...

Right on, Farrah. I was looking for that passage, too, and I couldn't call the exact reference to mind.