How Can We Repay Their Sacrifice?


Bryant Wright uses the story line from the movie Saving Private Ryan as a image of Christ's ultimate sacrifice.

“Greater love has no one than this; that he lay down his life for his friends.” - John 15:13 niv

The opening scene of the movie Saving Private Ryan shows the incredible carnage and sacrifice that occurred during the invasion of Normandy. From this scene emerges a humble schoolteacher, Captain John Miller (Tom Hanks), who is assigned an unusual mission—to lead a small platoon across Germany and retrieve Private James Ryan. Ryan’s three older brothers had all been killed on a single day, and General Marshall wanted to bring the sole surviving son back to his mother.

Captain Miller eventually located Private Ryan. Because of Ryan’s loyalty to his fellow soldiers, Miller had to use every bit of persuasion he had to finally convince Ryan to leave his comrades in battle. Before he could leave, a counterassault by the Nazis mortally wounded Captain Miller. Miller addressed his last words to Private Ryan, “James—earn this. Earn it.”

What a powerful charge. How could a single soldier possibly pay back all that sacrifice? He couldn’t—but he could choose to be a good citizen.

Christ sacrificed His life for us. How can we ever pay back Christ? We can’t! We can never earn His favor. We simply have to accept His gift on faith and then love God and our neighbors as ourselves. It is called being a good citizen of the kingdom of God.

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