In one of his songs, singer Jack Johnson asks the question, “Where’d all the good people go?” (Here’s a link to the song on Youtube.) I admit it seems I ask myself that exact same question more and more as the years go by. “Good people”—however you chose to define the term—are seemingly harder and harder to come by. An article in Time Magazine a few months back, however, caught my attention and just may have answered my question.
On July 20, 2012, a man entered a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, and opened fire. There were a total of 12 fatalities in the shooting, and Time printed a sentence summary of each along with their photos in an article from their August 6 edition. Three of those sentence summaries left me absolutely dumbfounded:
“Alex Teves: Teves, 24, successfully protected his girlfriend, covering her during the barrage.”
“Jon Blunk: Blunk, a 26-year-old veteran, saved his girlfriend by shielding her before he was shot.”
“Matt McQuinn: McQuinn, 27, was killed while protecting his girlfriend, who was shot in the knee but survived.”
Three of the 12 total victims, an amazing 25%, were killed protecting someone else. A straight up exchange took place: their lives for the lives of others. As a direct result of their deaths, three other people were allowed to live. It takes your breath away. I think I’ve found some of those “good” people you’ve been looking for, Jack. I pray to God I would be like those men if I ever found myself in a similar situation.
What kind of amazing love sacrifices one’s very life for the life of another? Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). There is no higher expression of love than this.
Jesus died for you. Just like these three young men who gave their lives for someone they loved, Jesus gave his life in exchange for yours. Don’t pass over that fact too quickly. Pause for a moment and let it sink in. Another man—the perfect, glorious, righteous God-man Jesus Christ—took your fall. Your number had come up, and Jesus stepped forward to take your place. The hammer of perfect justice was about to fall on you, and Jesus took the blow. Death rightly had you in its sight, and Jesus took a bullet for you. And he did it willingly. Never doubt the amazing love that God the Son has toward you.
All who see Jesus and his crazy love and are drawn by it will be saved. The question is, Do you see it? Does the fact that Jesus loves you land on you in such a way that you can’t help but love him in return? I pray that it would be so. There is more to be had in knowing Jesus than in all the rest of the world combined. I wish you could taste and know that that’s true. All the while, there he stands, offering this incredible love to you if you would but reach out and have it. Come to him. If he died for you, it would be inconceivable to think he wouldn’t accept you if you would but call on his name. Try it. You won’t be found wanting.