“Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour.” (John 12:27)
Philippe Petit is a French tight-rope artist who gained notoriety for his illegal tight-rope walks between the towers of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris in 1971 and also on Sydney Harbour Bridge. His most famous feat though took place in New Your City in 1974.
In 1968, he saw an artists’ drawing in a magazine of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Centre. Immediately, his dream to one day cross from one tower to the other on the tight rope was born. Years of careful planning ensued. It was executed like a military operation.
In the early morning of 7th August 1974, after having smuggled himself, a companion and his equipment into one of the towers, he rigged up his wire. Shortly after dawn, he began his daring feat 1,312 feet above the ground, without the security of a safety harness!
As he crossed between the Twin Towers eight times over a 45 minute period, he danced, knelt and even lay down on the wire as onlookers below craned their necks to see the marvel unfolding above them. When he finally decided to end his show, he was promptly arrested by the New York Police Department, having broken dozens of laws.
He had risked his life one week before his 25th birthday.
Many people think that feats like this require passion, courage, dedication and determination. That may be so, but it’s only as we lift our eyes to another height that we see a greater passion and a greater courage. At Calvary, we see that Christ was not only willing to risk His life to save mankind, He actually gave His life. By willingly stepping out into the abyss of sin for mankind was he able to bring “many sons to glory” (Hebrews 2:10)
As Spurgeon wrote:
You never hear Jesus say in Pilate's judgement hall one word that would let you imagine that He was sorry that He had undertaken so costly a sacrifice for us. When His hands are pierced, when He is parched with fever, His tongue dried up like a shard of pottery, when His whole body is dissolved into the dust of death, you never hear a groan or a shriek that looks like Jesus is going back on His commitment.
That is true courage.
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