There was once a farmer who had a very useful dog. But when the dog grew old, his ungrateful master decided to get rid of him by drowning.
He took the dog to a river near his farm and rowed the dog to the middle of it. He tied a heavy stone to the dog's neck with an old rope. When they reached the deepest part of the river, he threw the dog into the water.
The poor dog sank until the rope broke. Then he came right back up with a whine and swam to the board. But each time he tried to climb in, his cruel master pushed him off with an oar.
At least the heartless farmer stood up and lifted the oar over his head. "One good whack will sink him for sure," he thought. As he swung, he lost his balance and fell into the water.
He couldn't swim! He was drowning! But the noble dog saw his master in need, went to him, caught hold of his jacket and pulled him to safety. In spite of the cruel treatment just received, this faithful friend saved the cruel man's life.
Anyone who treats a good dog like this deserves punishment. Don't you agree?
But wait a minute! Aren't we more guilty than this farmer? Let's go back to when Jesus, the Son of God, came into this world with nothing but love and blessing for the poor, sinful man. He went about healing the sick, raising the dead, feeding the hungry and bringing joy to the sad.
He was the most Faithful Friend man ever had. But men shouted, "Away with Him!" and nailed Him to a cross. How wicked is man's heart? The Bible says, "the heart is deceitful about all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?" (Jeremiah 17:9). We'll take God's blessing as long as it suits us, but get rid of Him as soon as we no longer need Him.
When we look at our Faithful Friend on the cross we see God's love-not a word spoken nor a ringer raised against us in judgment. "God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved" (John 3:17). Jesus sacrificed Himself for sinners, showing nothing but loving kindness to His enemies.
He prayed, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do" (Luke 23:34). Like that river, the cross was the place where men tried to get rid of Him. But because of His death, grace still flows out from Jesus to all who repent, confess their sins, and trust Him as their Savior.
The faithful dog of our story saved his master's life, giving him a few more years to live. Jesus saves not only for a short time, but gives eternal life to all who believe.
If you don't know Jesus as your Savior, we urge you to let Him save you by grace right now. Later, when He comes in judgment, His anger will "burn like an oven" (Malachi 4:5), and then you'll be in real trouble! Won't you let your Faithful Friend save you now?