After a forest fire in Yellowstone National Park, some forest rangers began to assess the damage. One ranger found a bird literally petrified in ashes, perched like a statue on the ground at the base of a tree.

Somewhat sickened by the eerie sight, he knocked the bird over with a stick. Upon doing so, three tiny chicks scurried from under their dead mother’s wings. The loving mother, keenly aware of impending disaster, had taken her offspring to the base of the tree and had gathered them under her wings. She could have flown to safety, but had refused to abandon her babies. When the blaze arrived and the heat had singed her small body, the mother had remained steadfast. Because she had been willing to die, those under the cover of her wings would live.

Jesus knew of the impending disaster that awaited mankind, as the wrath of God threatened to destroy us because of our sins. He could have saved himself, but instead he took the brunt of God’s wrath. He willingly gave up his life so that we could live.

“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing.”—Matthew 23:37


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