A pastor stood in the pulpit and spoke of his love for his childhood friend. Afterward, an elderly gentleman stood up from the front pew and walked to the pulpit to speak. He told a story about a father, a son, and a friend of the son.
He said: “A father, his young son, and a young friend of the son were sailing just off the Pacific coastline when a freak storm caught them by surprise and prevented them from getting back to the shore. Scarcely any time passed before the fierce winds and the rising waves swept the sailboat far out into the ocean. The father, the son, and the friend worked hard to keep the boat upright and were able to do so, but there came a moment when the two boys were knocked off the boat and out into the mighty waves. Since the boat had only one rescue line, the father had a split-second decision to make. He could throw the line to his son or to the son’s friend. The father knew that his son was a Christian, and he also knew that his son’s friend wasn’t. With this knowledge in mind, he yelled, ‘I love you son!’ to his son and threw the rescue line to the son’s friend. The boy grabbed the line and the father pulled him back onto the boat. Once the boy was safe, the father looked to throw the line toward his son. Tragically, however, the son had disappeared beneath the waves. The boy’s body was never recovered.”
Then the elderly gentleman drove home the application of the story by saying, “That father knew that his son would step into eternity with Jesus. Therefore, he sacrificed his son. And in the same way, God the Father sacrificed His Son, Jesus, to save us.” With that, the old man returned to his seat on the front pew.
Even before the pastor could make it to the pulpit to close the service, a teenage boy who had been intently listening to the old man’s story blurted out, “What became of the boy who got saved from drowning? Did he ever become a Christian?” From the front pew, the old man answered, “Yes, he did. You see, I was the father in that story, and your pastor was my son’s friend.”
This Christmas season, as we celebrate Jesus being born to die for our sins, let’s also remember the heavenly Father who lovingly allowed His only Son to die for the entire human race. Even more than just remember Him, let’s also mourn with Him over the fact that the majority of the human race reject that Son and in so doing render the whole endeavor useless in regards to its intended purpose. All that rejection adds an even sadder element to the story, doesn’t it? Needless to say, I sincerely hope that its an element that doesn’t apply to you.