The mother bird’s instinct to protect her young at the cost of her own life describes a quality infrequently found among humans. During the shootings in the Aurora, Colorado, movie theater this last year, some people ran for their lives, leaving their own children behind. But others threw themselves over their family at the cost of their own lives. It reminds me of the Bible verse: “By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren” (1 John 3:16).
Jesus did not hesitate to give His life for a world soon to be enveloped in an unquenchable forest fire. Christ wept out the words, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!” (Matthew 23:37). Our Savior stretched out His arms over us, to shield us from the penalty of sin. Christ died in order that we might live.
The picture of a mother hen quietly sitting over her cute brood of little peeping chicks makes us smile. But the picture of Calvary is like the bird that died in the fire at Yellowstone, with outstretched wings, faithful unto death.
He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. Psalms 91:4