A billionaire oil tycoon from Texas decided to find a husband for his
only daughter, a rather homely 18-year-old. He initiated his search by
inviting local bachelors to a party in his backyard. A large, elegantly
designed swimming pool dominated the yard. As the men edged by it to get
their refreshments, they saw it was filled with man-eating sharks,
piranhas, alligators, and other animals that wouldn't think twice
about eating you alive.
Clustering beside the pool, the bachelors puzzled over the strange sight.
Just then the tycoon appeared on the patio and gave an emotional speech,
telling how much he loved his daughter and expressing how much he wanted
her to marry someone deserving of her. He then laid out The Deal. "Anyone
who will jump in the swimming pool and swim to the other side will have
their choice of a check for one million dollars with no questions asked
or the title deed to my most profitable oil field or the hand of my daughter
in marriage and your place in my will, which will result in your
inheriting my entire fortune."
The bachelors were speechless. Their questioning looks seemed to say that
none of them would be crazy enough to risk his life--even for all that
money. The long silence was finally broken by a splash. Everyone turned
to see one of the men swimming to the far side of the pool as fast as any
Olympic swimmer. Leaping out of the water, he shook himself and stalked
back to the tycoon. With a hug and a handshake, the tycoon congratulated
the young man on a fine swim. "Son, would you like a million dollar check?"
he asked. "No sir, I wouldn't," responded the young man politely, and
slightly out of breath. "Fine," said the tycoon. "Then would you like my most
profitable oil field?" "No sir," he replied, getting a hold on himself. With
a tear in his eye the tycoon asked, "Then, my boy, would you like my only
daughter's hand in marriage?" To the surprise of the gawking bachelors, the
young man replied, "No sir." Puzzled and a little hurt, the tycoon asked,
"Well then, son, what do you want?" "I only want one thing," answered the
young man with assurance. "I want the name of the guy who pushed me in the pool."
Nobody would willingly jump into a shark-infested pool--even for a million
dollars. And nobody would willingly let themselves be nailed to a Roman
cross-even if he thought he might get some fame or recognition out of it.
Jesus let himself be nailed to that cross, not because there was something
in it for Him personally, but because there was something in it for you and
me. Jesus did more than risk His life for us; Jesus gave His life for us.
Nobody pushed Him into it; He chose to die because He loves us.