In the final episode of M*A*S*H (Feb. 28, 1983), one of the most popular shows in television history, a distraught mother does the unthinkable to save herself and the people traveling with her in war-torn Korea. She and other refugees are aboard a bus with wounded soldiers, traveling to the 4077th M*A*S*H unit, when they learn of an enemy patrol in the area. The bus pulls off the road and hides so it cannot be seen by the enemy. Everyone is told to keep very quiet. But suddenly, the woman’s baby starts crying. Hawkeye, the U.S. doctor on board, orders her to keep the baby quiet. She tries, but to no avail. Then quietly, she decides to smother her own child to silence its cries in order to protect the people on the bus. In that single heart-wrenching moment, the baby dies and everyone on the bus is saved. It was a high price to pay for protection. That compelling scene was only a bit of fiction written for television back in 1983. Yet, it has generated an unending stream of polls and thought-provoking discussions around questions such as “Was it right?” and “What would you do?” But for me, it speaks to a greater issue that goes way beyond television: It illustrates the love of God and the price He paid to save humanity.
Like the mother and the other people on the bus, we’re all traveling through life and we’re all in grave danger. Our danger exists because of our sins; and in God’s sight we’re all guilty. “There is none righteous, no, not one” (Rom. 3:10 NKJV). We’re all “like sheep that have gone astray” (1 Pet. 2:25).
Our sins can lead to eternal punishment when we die, because the Bible tells us that “the wages of sin is death” (Rom. 6:23). This includes eternal separation from God. The Bible says that “those who do not know God, and do not accept the gospel of our Lord jesus Christ … shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power” (2 Th. 1:8-9).
Thankfully, God saw our condition and chose to do something about it. According to the Bible, “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8). God does not want us to die in our sinful condition. He does not want us to be punished (2 Pet. 3:9). The Bible tells us that “Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit” (1 Pet. 3:18). After dying on Calvary’s cross, jesus rose from the dead in three days and was seen by over 500 people (1 Cor. 15:3-7).
God gave up His only Son, jesus, to die so that we can live; and His Son willingly shed His blood so that we can be with Him forever. “Without the shedding of blood, there is no remission” for our sins (Heb. 9:22).
The most quoted verse in the Bible says that “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (Jn. 3:16).
As you can see, God paid the ultimate price to save us and protect us from the penalty of sin. Because of the sacrifice of His Son, He offers us everlasting life and eternal protection as a free gift. This is what the last episode of M*A*S*H reminded me of.
Have you accepted His gift? If not, you can receive it today. just accept what God has done for you. Ask Him to save you. Then trust in Him to do what He has promised. We can tell you how.
By Roscoe Barnes III
With permission to publish by: Sam Hadley, Grace & Truth, 210 Chestnut St., Danville, IL., USA. Website: www.gtpress.org