THE COLUMBIA EXPLOSION: IMPENDING DOOM
The Bible says, "...all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God" (Rom. 3:23). And, "...the wages of sin is death" (Rom. 6:23).
Do you remember when the space ship, Columbia, blew up on re-entry on February 1, 2003? Seven crew members lost their lives in that heartbreaking tragedy. NASA investigators concluded that the source of the problem occurred on takeoff when a small piece of flyaway foam from the fuel tank hit the lower side of the left wing and damaged it just enough that it couldn't withstand the heat of reentry.
For 15 days and 22 hours the seven crewmembers carried on their mission not knowing they were doomed from the start. Everything seemed to be going smoothly. They couldn't see the damage on the underbelly of the wing. They didn't know they needed rescue, but they did. As NASA engineers debated the extent of the damage to the shuttle, a flight director emailed the astronauts to say there was "absolutely no concern that breakaway foam harmed the spacecraft."
There were voices of authority saying there was nothing wrong--that there was no reason for concern. But the crew was doomed with no hope of escape. Though they didn't know it, they were in desperate need of rescue.
Even if the astronauts had known, there was nothing that they could have done. They could not have saved themselves. They didn't have the equipment or expertise to get out of the spacecraft and repair the damage. Those seven astronauts in that doomed spacecraft are a picture of the spiritual condition of all mankind.
When sin first entered into the world through Adam and Eve, it may have appeared to be just a little thing, but the whole planet was violated. Rom. 8:22 -- "...the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time"
Let's go back to our story about the shuttle Columbia. Let's just imagine that NASA engineers correctly diagnosed the serious nature of the damage to the Columbia. They then send a second craft into outer space that comes alongside the one that was doomed. Word is sent to the seven inside the damaged craft--they need to leave to get back to earth safely. A tethered astronaut from the second craft walks several feet through space and knocks on the door of the damaged craft. He says, "Follow me."
Can you imagine the seven astronauts asking, "Is there some other way?" Or, "Are you sure it's that serious?" They'd be grateful for the one way of escape provided. Jesus came to earth and knocks on the door of your heart and says, "Follow me to safety."
Jn. 3:17-18 says, "For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son."
But to rescue us Jesus had to do more than risk His life and say, "Follow me." He had to sacrifice His life on the cross to pay the price for our sins so that we could be set free from sin and death. The Bible teaches us that without the shedding of His blood there would be no remission of sins.
(From a sermon by Michael Luke, Someone to Rescue Me, 4/26/2011)
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