“Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.”  Ephesians 5:2 NLT

As a Marine Corps Pilot and flying for the legendary Blue Angels, Jeff was living his dream. In addition to being a top aviator, Jeff was also loyal, kind, compassionate and a loving father and husband. Life couldn’t have been better for Jeff as he had so much to live for. But, on one routine afternoon, his life was cut short. Not because someone took his life, but because he gave it.

As Jeff and his team were practicing for an upcoming air show his aircraft began to malfunction, and he had only split seconds to make a decision. But for Jeff, there was no mistaking what he would do. Letting his jet crash into a residential area, potentially killing or hurting others, just wasn’t an option for him. Yes, he could have saved his own life, but instead he laid it down.

Jesus Himself said in John 15:13, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”Interestingly, Captain Jeff Kuss had no friends that he knew of on the ground that day. He knew no one who lived in those apartment buildings or homes below, yet instead of ejecting and saving his life, he stayed in his jet to steer it away. It’s one thing to lay your life down for a friend, but what about people you don’t even know?

Over 2,000 years ago, “One” laid His life down for a people that didn’t know Him. His once-and-for-all sacrifice paved a way for us to the Father. He forever set the example of “Greater Love” and so freely died for us so that we could live freely.  Free from guilt, condemnation, and free from eternal doom.

Today, let’s always honor and remember those who have willing given all, but especially the One, Jesus Christ, who gave once and for all.

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