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The Beauty of Sacrifice

Jesus sets the ultimate beautiful example of a life of sacrifice for others.


On October 1, 2017, as a shooter was spraying the field where concertgoers were attending a country western concert in Las Vegas, there was an off-duty firefighter named Dean McAuley who was there with two of his friends. Initially, McAuley and his two friends, as the bullets were sort of spraying the ground, said, “We’ve got to get out of here.” But McAuley hesitated and his friends said, “Hey, you’ve got to come.” McAuley said, “No, I’ve got some work to do. I’ve got to go back.” He found his way to the medical tent where he found some medical gloves and he put them on. He was able to rescue two young women and get them to safety. Then he went back and he found another young woman, a 17-year-old girl named Natalia Baca who was literally bleeding out. He found something to use as a tourniquet to stop the bleeding, and he hooked her up to an IV, got her into a car, and they took her to the ambulance where he called Natalia’s father. Natalia lived and is okay. A day later, Dean McAuley went home to his wife and his son and his dog and according to The New York Times, he said, “I squeezed the heck out of my wife, I was just so happy to be home and so happy to see her.”

You know, every time I hear a story like this, a story of a real-life sacrifice, somebody putting their life on the line for someone else, for another group of people, it really moves me. I have a file and I collect these stories because they always show up in traumatic situations like this. Somebody is willing to put their life on the line. Somebody is willing to say, “My life for yours.” Not just my life for me, or my life for me and a little group of friends ...

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Matt Woodley serves as the Editor for and the Pastor of Compassion Ministries at Church of the Resurrection in Wheaton, Illinois. He is also the author of God With Us: The Gospel of Matthew (IVP).

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