Our verse for today comes from John 11:50, ” Nor do you consider that it is expedient for us that one man should die for the people, and not that the whole nation should perish. “
In 1776, General George Washington needed to know the location of the British invasion on Manhattan Island. A year prior, a young man not yet turned twenty had joined the Connecticut militia. But when his unit joined in to defend the Siege of Boston, Nathan Hale stayed behind. On July 4, 1775, Hale received a letter from a friend and classmate which read, ” Was I in your condition, I think the more extensive service would be my choice. Our holy religion, the honor of our God, a glorious country, and a happy constitution is what we have to defend. ” So inspired was Hale by his friend’s letter that several days later, he joined the Revolutionary Army as a lieutenant in the 7th Connecticut Regiment. And when General Washington needed a spy behind enemy lines that following year, the only man to volunteer for the task that brought with it the immediate punishment of death if captured, was Nathan Hale. As we know, Hale was captured. The night before his death, he requested a Bible, and was denied. Later, he requested a clergyman, and was again denied. That next morning, just before the rope hanging from a tree took his last breath, the 21-year-old soldier said, ” I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country. “
Nathan Hale’s death probably did not save our country from losing the war. His bravery and maturity aside, many more battles were won and lost, and thousands of lives were sacrificed for the cause before victory and independence was secured. But we know of a single life that accomplished everything for everyone through its death. Even as Hale was willing to die and die again for the honor of his God and the freedom of his country, Jesus accomplished all of that for all of eternity in His atoning death on a different tree. Because of Christ’s sufficiency, our deficiencies are washed away. We don’t have to rely on courage or bravery, or the victories of fellow soldiers. One Man indeed died for all, and His followers shall never perish.
As we seek Him today, live your life as if it has been sacrificed for, 200 years ago, and 2,000 years ago.