“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep” (John 10:11).

He sacrificed himself for me,” Bethany Lansaw explained. “For the rest of my life I’m going to wonder if that was the best decision. But it was the only decision we could make.” On May 22, 2011, Don and Bethany Lansaw were watching TV when they heard sirens and looked out the window of their Missouri home to see a tornado closing in on them. They had no basement or storm shelter, so Bethany lay down in the bathtub and Don put pillows on top of her. Then he covered her with his 250-pound body, holding on to the sides of the bathtub.

When the tornado struck their home, debris flew everywhere. After it passed, only a couple walls were left standing, and the bathtub had become dislodged. When Bethany crawled out, she discovered her husband nearby. Flying debris had struck him in the side and killed him. Bethany and Don had been married for six years. Through her tears she tells people, “He sacrificed himself for me. I’m always going to remember him as my hero.”

After Jesus healed a man who was born blind, the Pharisees interviewed the man for the purpose of attacking Jesus. The man’s plain testimony about Christ was rejected and they excommunicated him from the synagogue. Jesus encouraged this man and others by contrasting His work and that of the Pharisees by describing Himself as a good shepherd who would willingly lay down His life for His sheep. Hirelings (the Pharisees) were not really interested in the sheep (true followers of God) and were interested only in protecting their own skins.

When Jesus sacrificed His life, it was as if He crawled on top of us and took the brunt of sin that was thrown at us by the devil. Christ died for every human being on the planet. He truly is our Hero, the one who didn’t hesitate, when the tornado of death was bearing down on us, to cast Himself over us. Is the Good Shepherd your hero?

Dear Jesus, thank You for sacrificing Your life for me so that I can survive the storms of this earth.

For Further Study: Psalm 23; John 10:1–29; Revelation 7:17

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