The daughter and attorney of Dr. David Dao held a news conference yesterday morning. The attorney told reporters that when his client was forcibly evicted from the United flight last Sunday, he suffered a concussion and broken nose and lost two front teeth. Dr. Dao’s daughter stated, “What happened to my dad should’ve never happened to any human being.”
As the United firestorm continues, a dear friend shared an insight with me that I asked his permission to share with you. Dr. David Dykes is the longtime pastor of the amazing Green Acres Baptist Church in Tyler, Texas. Regarding the man pulled from the flight, his first thought was, “When they are dragging this bleeding man off the plane, why didn’t someone stand up and say, ‘Let him go. I’ll take his place. Take me instead’?
“I suppose all the passengers were shocked and stunned into silence. I’m just glad that 2,000 years ago when I should have been the one rejected and bloodied, Jesus stepped forward and said, ‘Let him go. I’ll take his place. Take me instead!’”
St. Melito, bishop of Sardis (died AD 180), described well what Jesus experienced on Good Friday: he “endured every kind of suffering in all those who foreshadowed him. In Abel he was slain, in Isaac bound, in Jacob exiled, in Joseph sold, in Moses exposed to die. He was sacrificed in the Passover lamb, persecuted in David, dishonored in the prophets.”
How should we respond to such sacrificial grace?
In Psalm 101, David vowed: “I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless” (v. 3). After a long discussion of foods that are suitable for eating, the Lord concludes: “Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am holy” (Leviticus 11:44). Paul encouraged us to “cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God” (2 Corinthians 7:1). He added that “God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness” (1 Thessalonians 4:7). Job testified, “I have made a covenant with my eyes; how then could I gaze at a virgin?” (Job 31:1).
When we make a covenant with ourselves to choose holiness, we experience the power of God that enables us to be holy. Oswald Chambers: “Eternal life is not a gift from God, eternal life is the gift of God. The energy and the power which was manifested in Jesus will be manifested in us by the sheer sovereign grace of God when once we have made the moral decision about sin.”
When we decide to die to sin, “the full life of God comes in.” If we keep choosing to be holy, “slowly and surely the great full life of God will invade us in every part, and men will take knowledge of us that we have been with Jesus.”
Just as Good Friday led to Resurrection Sunday for Jesus, it can be the same for us. If we decide today to die to sin, we will experience the resurrection life of the risen Christ. “In the midst of a crooked and twisted generation,” we will “shine as lights in the world” (Philippians 2:15). Others will see Christ in us and be drawn to him, and every day will be Easter.