A crippled girl, living in the slums, underwent an operation that might enable her to walk again. When the operation was over, she needed a blood transfusion; her fourteen-year-old brother, a tough boy of the streets, volunteered. He was taken to the hospital, to the bedside of his crippled sister. He stared in tight-lipped silence while the vein in his arm was opened so that the blood might flow into the body of his unconscious sister. When it was over, the doctor put his hand on the boy’s shoulder and told him that he was very brave. The boy did not comprehend; he had not understood the nature of a transfusion. After a moment, he looked up and said, “Doc, how long will it be before I croak?” As far as the boy was concerned he had been dying; slowly and willingly, he had stoically watched the blood flow—drop by drop, expecting his sister’s life to mean his own death.
There, indeed, is the highest in human love. If this human love is to be seen in it highest degree, it will be through the words of Christ, who said, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15.13).
Jesus willing let His life slowly fade away because He knew His death was the only way for us to have life!
Source: Timeless Illustrations for Preaching and Teaching by Donald Grey Barnhouse