Facing Death With Us
There is a legend about a tribe of people who, many years ago, had the costume of offering one of their maidens in sacrifice. When the appointed time arrived, the young girl was placed in a boat and allowed to drift over the falls to her death below. The chief of the tribe was a good man who loved his family very much. He was very saddened when his daughter was chosen to be the next sacrifice. When the day for the sacrifice arrived, the chief was not to be found. Nevertheless, the tribesmen put the chief's daughter in a boat, and set her adrift on the river towards the raging falls.
As the girl floated down the river, she passed the spot where are father secretly waited in his own boat. He paddled quickly and brought his boat next to her boat. He paddled quickly and brought his boat next to hers. When he was close enough, he grasped her hand and pulled her close to him. Then, they both went down the falls together!
It is interesting that the legend does not say that the father rescued the girl. Instead, he gave up his own life so that she should not have to face death alone. The same is true with our Lord, Jesus Christ. He does not take away the reality of death from us. Instead, by His crucifixion and resurrection, He makes death powerless! By His death, Christ has conquered death. Christ is with us at the time of our own death and leads us to eternal life. This is the great victory of the Cross - which we gloriously exalt today!