After the U.S.S. Pueblo was captured in 1968 by the North Koreans, the 82 surviving crew members were thrown into brutal captivity. In one particular instance 13 of the men were required to sit in a rigid manner around a table for hours at a time.

After several hours, the door violently was flung open and a North Korean guard brutally beat the man in the first chair with the butt of his rifle. The next day, as each man sat at his assigned place, again the door was thrown open and the man in the first chair was brutally beaten again. On the third day the same thing happened again to the same man.

Knowing the man could not survive another beating, a young sailor took his place. When the door was flung open the guard automatically beat the new man senseless. For weeks, each day a new man stepped forward to sit in that horrible chair, knowing full well what would happen. At last, the guards gave up in exasperation. They were unable to beat that kind of sacrificial love. (Andy Grossman, via SermonFodder.com)

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On August 16, 1987, Northwest Airlines flight 225 crashed just after taking off from the Detroit airport, killing 155 people, One survived: a four-year-old from Tempe, Arizona, named Cecelia. News accounts say when rescuers found Cecelia they did not believe she had been on the plane. Investigators first assumed Cecelia had been a passenger in one of the cars on the highway onto which the airliner crashed. But when the passenger log for the flight was checked, there was Cecelia’s name.

Cecelia survived because, even as her plane was falling, Cecelia’s mother, Paula Chican, unbuckled her own seat belt, got down on her knees in front of her daughter, wrapped her arms and body around Cecelia, and then would not let her go.

Nothing could separate that child from her parent’s love – neither tragedy nor disaster, neither the fall nor the flames that followed, neither height nor depth, neither life nor death.

Such is the love of our Savior for us. He left heaven, lowered himself to us, and covered us with the sacrifice of his own body to save us.

(Bryan Chapell, In the Grip of Grace)

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