Summary: Jesus was a man on a suicide mission like no other. This sermon studies how it was (and still is) the last who understand it first.


Luke 18:31-19:10

Romans 5:7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die.

• Who would you die for?

Would you die for your family?

When Charlene Sanders drove home from a routine day of work April 28, the last thing she expected was that she would be telling family of her husband’s death later that night.

At about 9 p.m. on April 28, Jim Sanders invited a young man and women into his home to view a ring he had posted for sale online.

Within 30 minutes, Jim Sanders was shot dead before his family’s eyes.

The events of April 28 changed the local family forever, as it shook the quiet town of Edgewood and the “Craigslist Murder” drew the attention of media nationwide.

Jim was the head of his hard-working Christian family that included his wife of close to eight years, Charlene, and their two boys – Jimmy Jr., 14, and Chandler, 10.

As a trusting, loving human being, Jim never suspected the evening visit would take the direction it did. If he had, he would have stopped it at the doorstep. He was an unfailing protector of his family.

Jim was always cautious, and fully prepared to protect his family against intruders, said Charlene. But on April 28, he was blindsided.

“He was duped,” said his younger brother, Derek Sanders. “He trusted someone and he let them into his home.”

Once things took a turn for the worse, Jim did what he had to do. After seeing his 14-year-old son pistol whipped by one of the intruders, he freed himself from the zip-ties around his wrists and defended what was most important to him: his family.

“Jim stood courageously and he died for his family,” Derek said. “The way he was taken has made his story what it is – he stood up for his family, he fought, and he died. If he died in a car crash, it would have been tragic, but it would have been just another obituary.”

Jim’ family has spent the time since his tragic and untimely death clinging to their faith, trusting in God’s plan, and searching for meaning in such a senseless slaying.

What they have found is that their family’s story, which has spanned international news, has inspired people to make positive changes in their own lives.

Here’s the story in their own words…

VIDEO: Bill SANDERS (youtube)

Romans 5:7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die.

• Who would you die for?

Would you die for your country?

The Kamikaze (common translation: "divine wind") were suicide attacks by military aviators from the Empire of Japan against Allied naval vessels in the closing stages of the Pacific campaign of World War II, designed to destroy as many warships as possible.

The tradition of suicide instead of defeat, capture, and perceived shame was deeply entrenched in the Japanese military culture. It was one of the main traditions in the samurai life and the Bushido code: loyalty and honor until death.

This is an excerpt from a kamikaze pilots' manual…

When you eliminate all thoughts about life and death, you will be able to totally disregard your earthly life. This will also enable you to concentrate your attention on eradicating the enemy with unwavering determination, meanwhile reinforcing your excellence in flight skills.

There’s something honorable about dying while fighting for a cause. That’s what I want to see in a good hero story. The hero comes and fights evil or dies trying. That doesn’t seem to be a new idea.

We pick up our journey through Luke in…

Luke18:31 Jesus took the Twelve aside and told them, "We are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written by the prophets about the Son of Man will be fulfilled.

Their thinking, great now is the time for Jesus to roll some Roman heads.

They were thinking

Micah 5:2 "But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times."


Isaiah 11:12 He will raise a banner for the nations and gather the exiles of Israel; he will assemble the scattered people of Judah from the four quarters of the earth. 13 Ephraim's jealousy will vanish, and Judah's enemies will be cut off

They definitely remembered

Zechariah 9:9 Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation,

But then there’s this twist at the end of that prophecy.

gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.

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