A country preacher saw an overgrown field, rank with tall weeds, which was on fire. The flames rose high into the sky, and the line of fire raced across the field driven by a strong, dry, summer wind. Within a short time the flames had consumed the vegetation of the field, and having no more fuel available at the pasture's edge, had subsided to a few flickering embers, and a rapidly dispersing cloud of smoke.
Thinking he should make sure the fire was out for good, the man entered the blackened field, walking back and forth across it, kicking each smoldering clump and stamping out the embers. Near the center of the pasture, he kicked over a clump which startled him. Underneath the charred, smoking pile of debris was a cluster of baby chicks, which immediately scattered in all directions. After his initial reaction, he realized the burnt clump was the body of a hen which had gathered her brood under her wings for protection from the flames.
How like our Lord Jesus! As he considered the inhabitants of the Holy City, he lamented, "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing" (Matthew 23:37).
Like the hen, Jesus offered his own life in exchange for our salvation, "For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust..." (1 Peter 3:18).