“[Christ Jesus] … did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death–even death on a cross!” – Philippians 2:6-8
A very moving true story comes from Beaconsfield, Australia, where two miners were trapped 3,000 feet underground in a mine after an earthquake. Brant Webb, 37, and Todd Russell, 34, were lodged in a steel cage beneath tons of fallen rocks.
Teams of specialist miners bored through more than 45 feet of rock for two weeks using a giant drilling machine to reach the men. The final sections of the escape tunnel were cut with hand tools to minimize the risk of a cave in.
For five days the men existed on a cereal bar and water they licked from the surrounding rocks. On the sixth day the rescue team forced a narrow pipe through a small hole drilled through the rock and pushed through supplies including food and water. After 300 hours of intense labor the two miners were carefully brought back to the surface. Both men were in surprisingly good health.
I marvel at the tenacity of the miners who worked so hard to rescue their co-workers. I can only imagine the joy those two men must have felt over seeing the light of day again and the excitement of the families and the crowd as the miners and their rescuers surfaced. What an amazing story!
Isn’t that just like our story as followers of Jesus? Buried under a load of sin and death Jesus risked it all, leaving the safety of heaven and descending into human flesh to rescue us. Jesus didn’t just risk his life for us; he intentionally sacrificed himself.
Our story may not make the newspaper, but it is certainly reason for great joy. We’ve been rescued! We’ve got a story to tell! And since there are still people in our neighborhoods trapped under a load of sin and death, it’s a story we need to tell others, so that they, too, can be rescued by the One who was willing to risk it all.
Bringing It Home
1. Let the reality of your rescue sink in today, and let it fill both your heart and mouth with words of praise and thanks.
2. Ask God to put the name or face of someone who needs to be rescued into your mind. And when he does, invite them for a cup of coffee and tell them your story.
Lord Jesus, I confess that I too often take for granted the lengths to which you were willing to go to rescue me. Having been brought to life I’ve too often forgotten those who are still lost under a load of sin and death, even though they live, work and play all around me. Give me a spirit of gratitude and a heart of courage to tell others the story of how you rescued me. Amen.
Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, Burnsville, MN