The Ultimate Love
March 11, 2018
On the southern border of the Persian empire of Cyrus, there lived a great chieftain named Cagular who tore to shreds and completely defeated the various detachments of Cyrus’ army sent to subdue him. Finally the emperor, amassing his whole army, marched down, surrounded Cagular, captured him, and brought him to the capital for execution.
On the day of the trial, he and his family were brought to the judgment chamber. Cagular, a fine-looking man of more than 6 feet, with a noble manner about him was a magnificent specimen of manhood. So impressed was Cyrus with his appearance that he said to Cagular, "What would you do should I spare your life?" "Your Majesty, if you spared my life, I would return to my home and remain your obedient servant as long as I lived." "What would you do if I spared the life of your wife?" "Your Majesty, if you spared the life of my wife, I would die for you." So moved was the emperor that he freed them both and returned Cagular to his province to act as governor thereof.
Upon arriving at home, Cagular reminisced about the trip with his wife. "Did you notice," he said to his wife, "the marble at the entrance of the palace? Did you notice the tapestry on the wall as we went down the corridor into the throne room? And did you see the chair on which the emperor sat? It must have been carved from one lump of pure gold." His wife could appreciate his excitement, but she only replied: "I really didn’t notice any of that." "Well," said Cagular in amazement, "What did you see?" His wife looked seriously into his eyes and said, "I beheld only the face of the man who said to the emperor that he would die for me."
The willingness to die for someone expresses the ultimate love one has for the beloved. It expresses the value of the beloved, so priceless that one is willing to offer one’s life for it. When we say that Jesus Christ died for us, we are acknowledging two things: God’s love for us is unconditional, and in God’s eye we are priceless. When we look to Jesus on the Cross, just as the Israelites had to look to the upraised bronze serpent in the desert to live, we behold the face of the man who dies for us, who takes away sin from everyone who looks to Him in faith.
Looking at he who willingly dies for us leads us to the realization that this man has nothing but love for us and wants nothing but good for us. When we put our faith and trust in him, we are healed and given new life…eternal life. Throughout centuries, it is no wonder that many men and women experience their conversions while spending time at the foot of the Cross.