In the Great Depression, a ‘past his prime’ boxer became destitute after getting injured. He was forced to get welfare, and even beg, to keep his family fed and warm. After many months of healing and hardship, a friend got him an opportunity to fight again. He won convincingly, showing a strength and determination not seen before. He won a few more fights and suddenly found himself scheduled to fight Max Baer – the World Heavyweight Champion. At the pre-fight interview, reporters asked him why he was willing to risk his life against Baer whose thunderous punches had killed and maimed opponents. “Milk”, was his answer. The Cinderella Man (as he became known) was fighting for his family’s survival. His ‘never say die’ attitude brought a memorable victory and gave HOPE to a generation of battlers trying to survive one of the worst economic collapses in history.
Many years before this, Jesus came to bring HOPE to another generation of battlers struggling to survive under a brutal regime called the Roman Empire. He understood what hardship was about and was constantly feeding, healing and caring for the people as He walked and lived amongst them. But His message wasn’t just for that generation. Jesus came to address a much deeper need – our need for God. The empty tomb shows that the HOPE He offers has the power to forgive and transform lives – even lives that seem beyond hope.
Jesus said, “I am the BREAD of LIFE; whoever comes to ME, shall not hunger, and whoever believes in Me shall not thirst.” John 6:35.
In these uncertain days, millions of His followers continue to bring His message, with practical compassion, to every corner of the globe – often at great personal cost. Jesus is calling us as His people to live lives of faith and action, of courage and sacrifice, at a time when the philosophy of the day is increasingly “survival of the fittest”.
As the darkness of our time closes in – on multiple fronts – He calls on us to follow Him and to demonstrate the same love, compassion and self-sacrifice that He modeled when he walked amongst us. And remember, people don’t care what we know until they know that we care.
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