A converted Indian was asked by members of his tribe what Jesus Christ had done for him. The Indian gathered dry leaves and arranged them into a circle. He then dug into the soil until he located a small worm. He placed it in the center of the circle, and then set fire to the leaves. Within moments the flames came within inches of the terrified worm. At that point, the Indian reached down, picked up the worm, and held it safely in his hand. “That”, said the Indian to his friends, “Is what Jesus Christ did for me.”
It is hard to imagine a better depiction of man’s deliverance from the fire of hell through Jesus our Lord. After all, compared to God we are no better than “worms”. “How then can man be righteous before God? Or how can he be pure who is born of a woman? If even the moon does not shine, and the stars are not pure in His sight, How much less man, who is a maggot, and a son of man, who is a WORM?" (Job 25:4-6)
A modification to the above illustration, however, would make it even more fitting. What if the Indian had replaced the filthy worm with a rare, beautiful butterfly, and then allowed the lovely creature to perish in the flames. Although insect lovers might object, there’s no debating that the modified illustration would more accurately portray what Jesus did for us.
That said, King David depicted the future Messiah as becoming a lowly "worm" in our place. “But I am a WORM, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised by the people. All those who see Me ridicule me...” (Psa. 22:6-7)
Praise God that Jesus was willing to become a “worm" in our place and die for our sins. “For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Rom. 5:6-8)
May we gratefully serve and praise our Savior forever.
Jesus, always Jesus!