Most kingdoms will do anything they can to protect their king. This is the unspoken promise of the game of Chess. When the king falls, the kingdom is lost, therefore the king must be protected at all costs.

Another notable example comes from the Allied invasion of Normandy on D-Day, June 6, 1944. British Prime Minister Winston Churchill desperately wanted to join the forces and watch the invasion from the bridge of the battleship in the English Channel. U.S. General Eisenhower attempted to stop him for fear that the Prime Minister might be killed in battle. When it became apparent that Churchill would not be dissuaded, Eisenhower appealed to King George VI. The King informed Churchill that if it was the Prime Minister’s duty to witness the invasion, he could only conclude it was also his duty as King to join him on the battleship. At this point Churchill reluctantly agreed to back down, for he knew that he could never expose the King of England to such danger.

King Jesus did exactly the opposite. With royal courage He surrendered His body to be crucified. On the cross He offered a King’s ransom; His life for the life of His people. He would die for all the wrong things they had ever done—completely atoning for all our sins. The crown of thorns, meant to make a mockery of His royal claims, proclaimed His kingly dignity, even in death.

This selfless lifestyle that cares about others was illustrated in 1982 when Air Florida flight 90 iced over upon takeoff and crashed into frigid waters. As a rescue attempt was made for the survivors trading water, among them was Arland Williams.

Five different times a helicopter dropped a rope to save Williams and five times Williams passed the rope to other passengers in worse shape than he. When the rope was extended to Williams a sixth time, he could not take hold of it and succumbed to the icy waters. Williams made the choice to deny himself so that others might live.

Jesus laid down His life so we might live forever with God. He asks us to lay down our lives: our own inclination to be concerned only about me, myself and I, and invest ourselves in others being saved from separation from the God who loves them.

-Rev Dr William Lewis