Do We Remember?

Written by Anthony Douglas on 25 March 2018.

ArnaudIt’s relatively easy to find his name and photograph. Arnaud Beltrame was a French police officer stationed in the south of France, until this week. Until Friday, actually, when he was one of the first to arrive at the supermarket where an Islamist terrorist had taken around fifty hostages.

The police were able to get a number of the hostages out, but one woman was being held as a human shield. The gunman had already killed and wounded a number of people, and the situation was volatile.

Arnaud volunteered himself in place of the woman, and she escaped. He took his mobile phone in with him, so police could hear what was happening inside; as a result they knew when the attacker began killing his hostages and they stormed the building instantly. The terrorist was killed.

And Arnaud was wounded. He died of his injuries hours later. He had laid down his life for a stranger, becoming a captive so she could be free.

You can find his story, if you look. He will no doubt be long remembered by that woman and her family. But the world will forget his heroism, as it has forgotten similar heroes in the past.

Yet there is one name that, try as it might, the world has been unable to erase. One name, because only one man offered himself in place of countless souls held captive by our fear of death, and gave his life in exchange for our freedom to live. Jesus wasn’t just the first responder to our crisis, he was the only one. And the only one we’ll ever need.

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