There was once a farmer who had a dog that had been very useful to him. But the dog was getting old, and sad to relate, his ungrateful master made up his mind to get rid of him by drowning him. So one day he took the dog with him to a large stream near his farm, and getting into a boat, rowed out to the deepest part of the river. He had brought along a heavy stone which he had tied to a cord and this he fastened around the dog’s neck. Then he threw him into the water. The poor dog sank, but the cord broke, and as he rose to the surface with a whine he tried to get into the boat again. Unmoved, his pitiless master pushed him off a number of times with an oar.
At last the heartless man stood up in the boat with the oar in his hands, intending to strike the dog a blow that would send him to the bottom. However in the attempt, he lost his balance, and fell into the water himself. He could not swim and would have drowned, but when the noble dog saw his master struggling in the water, in spite of the cruel treatment he had just received from him, he swam up to him, caught hold of his clothes, and brought him safe to land.
Cruel, heartless wretch! we exclaim, to treat the noble dog so; he deserved himself to drown. at any rate we surely hope he had a change of heart and well repaid his faithful friend for his devotion by showering him with kindness for the rest of his days.
But stop a minute, my dear friend; and consider if you yourself have not been guilty of a far worse breach of the laws of kindness and uprightness. Let us go back nineteen hundred years ago to the time when Jesus the Son of God came into this world. Though He was God Himself, the truth and the light, yet in His hands He brought nothing but love and blessing for poor ruined man. He went about doing good- healing the sick, giving sight to the blind, raising the dead, feeding the hungry, and bringing joy to the weary and sad. And yet what did man do with Him? They cried out "Away with Him," and nailed Him on a cross of wood. O the wretchedness, the enmity of man’s heart. But that is your heart, and mine, too. The Bible says, "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?" Jeremiah 17:9 We will take His blessing from His hands one minute, but will get rid of Him the next if His will crosses the path of our own.
But now let us look at that blessed Man on the center cross, and see the heart of God told out. Not a word of scorn or resentment, not a finger raised in opposition; "He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb." It is all love going out to a world of guilty sinners.
O lovely attitude! He stands
With open heart and outstretched hands;
O matchless kindness! and He shows
His matchless kindness to His foes.
Then we may hear Him pray, "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do."
Though the cross was the place where men sought to get rid of Him, in His death it became the place where His saving grace flows out to all who come in repentance, confessing their sins, and own Him as their Saviour and Lord.
The faithful dog of our story turned around and saved his masters life, but Jesus saves not for time only but for all eternity; He gives eternal life to "Whosoever will believe."
Dear reader, if you do not yet know this blessed Saviour, we urge you to come to Him now, while it is the day of His grace. Soon He will come in judgment on this world, when "His anger shall burn as an oven," and where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear in that terrible day?
"God sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him!"