Abruptly, Jesus spoke to those wishing to follow Him, “If you try to keep your life for yourself, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will find true life.” (Mark 8:35)
“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep for that which he cannot lose.” Jim Eliot had penned in his journal October 28, 1949. January 8, 1956 Jim Eliot and four other missionaries were killed by Auca Indians in Ecuador. They had flown over the Auca village for months dropping gifts to win their hearts so that they might share the good news of Christ with them.
“You fellows are crazy to waste all that good stuff on the Aucas. They will be just as mean as before,” they were told by others. The news of this tragedy “went viral”. It was an unspeakably cruel act.
Two years later Elizabeth Eliot, Jim’s widow, and their three year old daughter, Valerie, were living in a little house with no floor, walls or furniture in the village with her husband’s murderers in order to bring the good news of Jesus Christ to them! In 1966 two of those Indians, Gikita Komi and Yaeti Kimo, who had participated in the murder of these five men, having become Christians, traveled to Berlin, Germany to participate in the World Congress on Evangelism.
Today our world is rampant with violence, hatred, murder and every conceivable wrong. During the week before Easter we think about the hatred of those who cried out “Crucify Him!” They were calling for the same crime which killed those five missionaries. Crowds crying for death in Jerusalem, the murder of five missionaries in Ecuador, a tree trimmer beaten unconscious last week as he tried to help a child in Detroit. No matter how much evil or wrong there may be around us, the Light and Love which come from God are able to overcome. There is no darkness so great that God is not greater still. Now that is worth celebrating!