“…the most inspiring sight…”

A distant shore. The date is April 25th, 1915. A man named John Simpson Kirkpatrick arrives at what will become known as one of the most notorious battlefields of World War 1—the beaches of Gallipoli, Turkey. And so, the legend of Simpson and his donkey was born.

 

Over the course of the next two-and-a-half weeks, working constantly day and night, Simpson and his donkey reportedly saved more than 300 men, continually putting his own life in danger in order to save others. The soldiers, “watched him spellbound from the trenches…it was one of the most inspiring sights of those early Gallipoli days” (Captain C Longmore). He ultimately sacrificed his life attempting to save yet two more soldiers on 19th May. Since that day he has become a legend known to most Australians. One of the central figures of the ANZAC legend, epitomising the ideals of mateship, sacrifice and bravery.

 

You can imagine the thoughts going through those young ANZAC’s minds as they lay wounded in no-mans-land on the battlefield with no hope of rescue. They were incapable of saving themselves and unless a miracle occurred, death was coming. They would have then seen Simpson and his donkey appearing to save them when they had no hope of saving themselves. Can you imagine the relief and elation they must have felt?

 

On this day, here in Australia it is right that we should speak about and remember Simpson and his donkey and the other ANZAC’s who sacrificed their lives so that we can have the lives we have now. Indeed, I often stop and think in awe about what they did. I am sure that around the world, others do the same thing on the days that their country remembers.

 

The thing is, as a Christian, we have a hero of our own. When we were dead and with no hope of salvation our hero, Jesus, sacrificed himself so that we could be saved. And he didn’t just save us from death temporarily, but through his sacrifice has given us eternal life. The elation felt by those young men over 100 years ago is nothing compared to the elation that those who are rescued from their sins by the death of Jesus feel. Isn’t that far more worth talking about than Simpson and his donkey?

 

So, this ANZAC day in Australia, whether you be watching a service online or lucky enough to attend, I would encourage you to thank Jesus for making the ultimate sacrifice. And then ask him to send you someone in your life that you can share the story of Jesus with. Maybe you could ask if they have heard of the story of Simpson and his donkey. Then share with them the story of another hero.

 

Easter Sunday: “This is the day that changed the world”

Blond hair… blue eyes and a smile that lit up the school yard.

The day I met the young woman… who is now my wife and mother of our three children… changed my life.

But as much as I say meeting her changed MY life… I admit… that day had little impact on the whole world.

However there is one day that changed the world like no other… one event when history changed in an instant.

That was the first Easter when Jesus rose from the dead… appearing to hundreds of people over the next several weeks.

On this day Jesus proved He is who He said He is…
on this day… God did what He said He would do.

Jesus died for us and was buried… but God raised Him from the dead on Easter Sunday… the day that changed the world.

And that means today… you and I can know Him personally.

He’s changed my life… what about yours?

Good Friday: “Jesus paid the price – we keep the change”

A special thing we do on family holidays is “ice-cream o’clock” … it’s a time each afternoon when we grab an ice-cream from the local store.

It doesn’t matter what’s happened throughout the day… “ice-cream” o’clock is a time when all is forgiven and we enjoy each other’s company.

It’s a significant cost buying all those ice-creams and my daughter loves to see if there is any change she can keep…

But relationships are worth the cost.

Do you realise that Jesus Christ has bought you something special?

He paid for it in full… and it’s sweeter than any ice-cream.

By giving His life on the cross He has bought you forgiveness and restored your relationship with God… Jesus paid the price… we keep the change!

It doesn’t matter what you’ve done in life… God loves you and can change you when you place your trust in Him.

That’s when you can experience life with God… and that’s a change worth keeping!