David Nanney planned to return home to Baltimore, Maryland, on December 18 to spend the holidays with his family and friends, but he didn’t make it.
Nanney had come to Denver to attend the Colorado Center for the Blind. 10 years earlier, he had begun losing his eyesight, which he and his family later learned was due to a disease (retinitis pigmentosa) which damages the retina, leading to a loss of vision. He had joined 24 other students at the CCB for training in life skills and Braille reading – training which typically spans a nine-month period.
But on Friday morning, December 17, Nanney was waiting for a bus with two other visually impaired students to attend a Christmas party at the CCB, when an out-of-control car slid on the icy road toward them. As Nanney heard the car skidding onto the sidewalk where the three of them were standing, he “pushed the two women out of the way and took the brunt of the hit” (9News.com as quoted by Neal Pollard).
The other two students were injured, but Nanney was killed in the accident. This 47-year-old man is remembered as being thoughtful, charitable, and a natural leader by his family and fellow students at the CCB. These wonderful traits moved him to give his life in order to save two of his friends and classmates.
Nanney’s selfless sacrifice reminds us of the Ultimate Sacrifice that was made for each of us as we faced an even greater danger…
“Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” – John 15:13
Due to our sins, each of us is destined for destruction… (Matthew 7:13-14; Romans 6:23). But because of His great love for us, God sent His Son to die on the cross for our sins. As Neal Pollard has written, “He was perfectly sinless (2 Corinthians 5:21), but was purposefully sent for our sins (Galatians 4:4-5),” as payment for our redemption (Ephesians 1:7).
Jesus’ atoning sacrifice will cover the sins of those who will: place their faith and trust in Him (Acts 16:30-31) in turning from their sins in repentance (Acts 17:30-31), confessing Jesus before men (Romans 10:9-10), and being baptized (immersed) into Christ for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38; 22:16).
In the words of Neal Pollard: “Nanney is an unqualified hero because he shoved two friends out of harm’s way. Jesus is the Unparalleled Hero of Calvary because His death saves us [each and every person who accepts His offer] from eternal condemnation.”
Won’t YOU accept His offer on His terms?
–David A. Sargent, Minister
Church of Christ at Creekwood