Do You Know Why They Died?

Alexander Teves.  John Larimer. Matthew McQuinn. Jon Blunk.  You’ve probably seen the names of these men, but may not recognize who they are.  They were among the 12 that were murdered in the movie massacre in Aurora, Colorado, last week.  But it is how they died that makes their story touching and unique.

Each one of these men died protecting their girlfriends.

Amanda Lindgren, 24, attended the midnight screening of “The Dark Knight Rises” with her boyfriend Alexander Teves.  “I was really, really confused at first about what was going on, so confused,” Lindgren told ABC News. “But, it’s like Alex didn’t even hesitate. Because I sat there for a minute, not knowing what was going on, and he held me down and he covered my head and he said, ‘Shh. Stay down. It’s ok. Shh just stay down.’ So I did.”

Teves blocked the barrage of bullets from Lindgren. She was not hit.  But he was shot.  And killed.  “He was my angel that night, but he was my angel every day I knew him,” Lindgren said. “I’m broken.”

Elsewhere in the theater similar scenes were repeated.  Julia Vogtsek recounted how her boyfriend, U .S. Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class John Larimer, 26, protected her when the shooting began.

“John immediately and instinctively covered me and brought me to the ground in order to protect me from any danger.  Moments later, John knowingly shielded me from a spray of gunshots. It was then I believe John was hit with a bullet that would have very possibly struck me.”

In similar ways,  Matthew McQuinn and Jon Blunk, died saving their girlfriends Samantha Yowler and Jansen Young.

In reading these stories several things came to my mind.

I thought of the courage of these four men.  Their bravery.  Their unselfish sacrifice.  Their instinctive love and concern for the ladies they cared about.

It reminded me of a statement often made that I believe is untrue.  “A man is made in a crisis.”  No, I think a man is revealed in crisis.  There is not time to think.  One only reacts to what is within the heart and soul.  Integrity. Honor. Character.  These are made manifest in split second decisions.

But I also thought about the statement of Jesus when he said to the disciples.  “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends” (John 15:13). While these four men did just that, the love of Jesus went above and beyond.  Jesus died for his enemies.  “Even while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom 5:8).

Jesus love is unlike human love.  Even the love of a man who would die for a woman.  His love is  pure. Personal. Perfect.

In Jesus’ love there is no pretense.  No hypocrisy.  No selfishness.  Jesus never loved for what He could get out it.

Jesus died for that movie murderer.  He died for the thieves that hung on crosses beside him.  He died for the immoral.  The ungodly.  And the unholy. He died for sinners.  Like me.  And you.

Jesus’ love is complete. His love was the ultimate, vicarious sacrifice.  He died in our place.  And he died that we might live.

The four women who walked away from that Aurora, Colorado, theater will never forget that day and the men who died to save them.  May we never forget why God died that day on Mt.Calvary.   He died so we could live.  Forever.

–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman


Filed under Jesus, Love, Uncategorized

17 responses to “Do You Know Why They Died?

  1. Faloria Jones

    Yes Jesus loves me, because the bible tells me so. We are so blessed, the sad thing about it, a lot of us don’t know or believe it.Thank you.

  2. Nathan Armstrong

    Amen! Jesus indeed died selflessly for the unworthy. What a Savior! Thanks for your uplifting messages and encouraging reminders brother Weliever.

  3. Terri Griggs

    WOW what an article in many ways. My heart goes out not only to those women but even more to the men’s families who have lost a loved one. How devastated they must be! I have to say tho that a person can lose a loved one and still have them here on earth – we lose them to the world. And that too is devastating. And another thought, Jesus died for each one of us- sinners. But I feel as Paul did, I am the chiefest of sinners and I want so badly to be able to live my life daily, letting Our Lord know how much God’s plan of salvation and Jesus death really means to me. And yet I fall daily in my attempt to show that love. Saying thank you to Him who suffered and died for me seems so very empty – so I just keep on trucking – trying to live in a way that will bring honor and glory to my Lord and God. Thank you Ken for these daily readings. They help me with my efforts to ‘stay on track’. Have a great day.

    • Thank you Terri! I appreciate your kind words. Glad to know you are finding the posts profitable. Could I ask you a favor? And maybe you’ve done this. I would like to expand ThePreachersWord to a greater audience. Would you mind forwarding posts to others, both members at Vivan Rd and friends in your email address book, and ask them to sign up? thanks! Ken

      Ken Weliever 400 NW Highcliffe Dr Lee’s Summit, MO 64081 Home Phone: 816-600-5001 Cell Phone: 813-507-1726 Church Office: 816-761-2659 web site: blog: Church web site:


      • Terri Griggs

        I will be more than happy to do that. Your articles are so worth reading. I can’t imagine someone not wanting to receive them. I will start forwarding today.

  4. Lavada Freeman

    Wow Ken, that was beautifully said. It took my mind back to when Jesus gave his life for me…for us. What a great sacrifice!! These men gave their lives and the women will be forever grateful and will never forget and that’s how we should be about Jesus, never forgetting his great sacrifice…a debt we can never repay, a gift we are not worthy of. I strive to live my life for Jesus daily and teaching my children and others the right way to live. Sometimes in my life it is very challenging especially since my husband is not a child of God. I’m striving to be a better Christian and I need all the spiritual food I can get which is why I have decided to place my membership with Hickman Mills COC. Ken, your sermons, your blog, the kindness felt from you and other members, the worship service, all of these things have helped me and my children tremendously in the month or so that I have visited Hickman Mills. We are ready to work for God, we want to work for God. Thank you Ken!! I will continue to forward your blog to my children and others in my email list.
    Have a very blessed day!!

  5. Chasity Hood

    Awesome, Preacherman. Brought tears to my eyes. Well said. We miss y’all!!
    Love, Chasity

  6. Larry

    Excellent article, Ken. Any reveals a point of view that no one (secular or otherwise) has mentioned. God bless you & your family & your work.

  7. Larry

    I meant to say “also reveals a……”

  8. What an amazing demonstration of love. We can only hope we would react with the same love in a split-second situation. Ken, thank you for this beautiful tribute, and reminder of God’s love for us. Our thoughts and prayers go out to these women, and the families and friends of those who were killed.

  9. Great message Ken, thank you. I will forward this to my friends.

  10. Link exchange is nothing else however it is only placing the other person’s
    webpage link on your page at suitable place and other person will also do same for you.

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