As Holy Week commenced last week, the nation of France mourned the loss of a savior. The world knows now that Lt. Col. Arnaud Beltrame died at the hands of a jihadist in Trebes, France, when he exchanged his life for that of a female hostage.
“Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13).
The jihadist in Trebes had already killed two hostages and was threatening the life of a third, when Beltrame entered the grocery store, unarmed, and exchanged his life for hers. About two hours later, Beltrame was shot and stabbed. He died in the hospital, following unsuccessful treatment to save his life.
Beltrame’s mother and brother both said they were not surprised by his actions—their beloved son and brother was known for his service to others. “He has always been like this,” his mother said in an interview with the French radio network RTL.
Jesus said, "the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28).
On Saturday before Palm Sunday, Gérard Collomb, France’s Interior Minister said on Twitter, “France will never forget his heroism, his bravery, his sacrifice.”
As France rightly honors this fallen savior, may the nation be drawn to the Savior. May God himself be exalted in this man’s life and death.
Pray with Pioneers in Europe for France. Pray that as they laud Beltrame’s gift of earthly salvation for one woman, they would seek eternal salvation available to all. Pray for our workers across the nation—for faithfulness and fruit from their labors.
Pray that the eyes of the hearts of many in France would be opened to the truth that without Christ, they too are held hostage and are in great need of a Savior who willingly exchanged his life for theirs.
“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him” (John 3:17).
Photo credit: standard.co.uk