7 The Jewish leaders insisted, “We have a law, and according to that law he must die, because he claimed to be the Son of God.” 8 When Pilate heard this, he was even more afraid, 9 and he went back inside the palace. “Where do you come from?” he asked Jesus, but Jesus gave him no answer. 10 “Do you refuse to speak to me?” Pilate said. “Don’t you realize I have power either to free you or to crucify you?” 11 Jesus answered, “You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above. Therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin.”
Everyone was waiting for a miracle. Many mocked, some wanted proof he was who he said he was, and the disciples cowered in fear hoping, but they were all left disappointed, or so they thought. The fact seemed to be lost that He COULD save himself, but then would have failed His mission. The miracle is that He COULD have, the life ring was there to grab, but Jesus chooses to lay down his life. Quite simply, in order to save others he can not save himself.
The life ring symbolizes Jesus' power and ability to save. It hangs in the light of hope and salvation and is set apart from the darkness of the city. The power is in the choice and He chooses us.