Lauren and Mikaela--identical twins living on opposite coasts--blog about the story of life and their adventures in faith.

4.10.2009

Big Bad John

Have you ever heard “Big Bad John”? Slightly before my time, this classic song was written in 1961 and made it to number one on the Billboard list!

Ev'ry mornin' at the mine you could see him arrive
He stood six foot six and weighed two forty five
Kinda broad at the shoulder and narrow at the hip
And everybody knew ya didn't give no lip to Big John.

John is not only big, though—he’s bad. Rumor has it that he actually killed a fellow over his sweetheart before coming to work in the mines. He is a man one would respect not because of his character, but because of the fear he instills. One day, however, the unthinkable occurrs: the mine caves in.

Through the dust and the smoke of this man-made hell
Walked a giant of a man that the miners knew well
Grabbed a saggin' timber, gave out with a groan
And like a giant oak tree he just stood there alone-Big John
And with all of his strength he gave a mighty shove
Then a miner yelled out "There's a light up above!"
And twenty men scrambled from a would-be grave
Now there's only one left down there to save-Big John
With jacks and timbers they started back down
Then came that rumble way down in the ground
And then smoke and gas belched out of that mine
Everybody knew it was the end of the line for Big John
Now they never reopened that worthless pit
They just placed a marble stand in front of it
These few words are written on that stand
At the bottom of this mine lies a big, big man, Big John

John may have been big, and he may have been bad, but he gave his life so that the rest of his crew could go free and live their lives. John 15:13 says, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” I am moved by this story within a song, which, despite its fame, I had never heard of before this week. It allows me to look at a hero with fresh, new eyes. I realized, though, that this story that touches me so mirrors, to a small degree, that age-old story which I have heard every week of my life. That story of a man who, knowing that the entire world was perishing, chose to give his life up and die to save every single person who has ever lived. There is one difference, however, between John and Jesus Christ: one was bad, mean, and violent, but the other was good, perfect, and loving. The world lost a brave man when Big bad John died, but the world lost a blameless, perfect man when Jesus died.
Jesus died for you—He died for me! We are the miners who are able to scurry free because Jesus valiantly and painfully held the beams just high enough for us to see the light. If you will acknowledge that you need saving and accept Jesus’ free gift, you too can live and have eternal life in heaven. If you refuse, however, you will not only be rejecting the greatest sacrifice anyone could make for you, but you will also die, only to live in eternal agony in Hell. Jesus has written the climax, but how will you end the song? Will you scramble out of your would-be grave, or will you wallow in it? Perhaps you have already made the choice to accept Jesus’ sacrifice for you; take today to remember it, thank God for it, and share it with everyone you can.
“Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.”

1 comment:

  1. What great thoughts and a powerful analogy of Jesus' redemptive sacrifice. Thank you for sharing this and hope you and your family have a very blessed Easter! We have so very much for which to celebrate and be grateful for!

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