Summary: This is sermon is about finding grace in the midst of shame.
Has the Son Dawned in Your Life? Or Are You Living in Darkness?
Text: John 8:1-11
August 3, 2012
Bugko UCCP Church
Mondragon, Northern Samar
Key Passage: Neither Do I Condemn you! Go your way and sin no more! Vs 11
Introduction: Rebecca Thompson fell twice from the Freemont Canyon Bridge. The first fall broke her heart the second fall broke her neck. This story is true and is taken from the Los Angeles Post August 23, 1992.
It was September 24, 1973 when Rebecca and her eleven year old sister was abducted by two known trouble makers. They had sliced her tires and then deceitfully offered them a ride to their home. This was a small town and no one would suspect such evil to be lurking in such a place as this. But evil knows no bounds and can enter anyone who will allow it to come into their hearts.
Instead the girls were driven to the Freemont Canyon Bridge, a steel structured bridge stretching across the North Platte River. Rebecca was raped and brutally beaten and then both girls were thrown over this 112 feet bridge to the Canyon below.
Amy was killed immediately when her head struck the rocks below.
Rebecca was a little bit more fortunate. Her body was bounced off of a ledge and she ended up broken, but landed in the deeper water. She had survived such a fall.
She was naked from the waist down, and her hip was broken in five different places. She managed to survive by hiding between two rocks. She could hear the men’s voices above. She waited for dawn for the rising of the sun but for her the dawn would never return to her again. She was found and her physical wounds were healed but she lived in darkness from that time on.
On July 31, 1994 she returned to the bridge that changed her life and the life of her sister forever.
No one really knows if she jumped off of the bridge or fell off. According to Sheriff Dave Dovala who had been the one to arrest the two hoodlums; “She was raped and murdered 19 years ago but she just died on that Friday.
Rebecca ignored the requests of her boyfriend to not go to that bridge. Rebecca was just 37 when she headed toward that bridge going seventy miles a hour with her daughter who was two at the time, riding in the back seat.
According to her boy friend she put her legs through the railing and her hands above as she told him how she successfully pleaded for the men not to rape her eleven year old sister Amy. She was crying bitterly as she told this story. She ran her hands through her hair as she told him how much she loved him. He then said your daughter should not see you cry as walked backward to the car. About that time he her an unbearable sound that echoed through the canyon. The sound of Rebecca’s body hitting the rocks below. Her boyfriend a thirty three year old welder said he would never forget the sound or the site of his beloved Rebecca.
She lived in fear that her abductors would either escape or be paroled, find her and finish the job they started nineteen years ago. That very day the District Attorney was trying to get a hold of her to tell her that it was over; their appeal was denied.
In 1974 they were given the death penalty. The state of Wyoming had never put someone to death before and in 1977 the courts sentence of death was overturned by the supreme court.
The hoodlums that committed this heinous crime were in their twenties at time that they raped and murdered Rebecca and killed her sister Amy.
Through the years she lived this awful reoccurring nightmare. She was threatened in court when one of the men slid his fingers across his throat. This gesture meant her life was at risk and this is what she feared for those nineteen awful years.
Looking at Rebecca you would not think anything was wrong. She had a perky smile and loved playing practical jokes. She loved boyfriend and her daughter. When friends were around they always hugged because Amy she said taught her that we never know when our last good bye will come.
She was masking her life in the midst of false guilt and fear. She turned to alcohol and drugs and who could really blame her for what she lived. Her mother thought the alcohol gave her a false courage to go to that bridge. Maybe it would give her closure. No one thought she would jump and maybe she didn’t maybe she slipped and fell. But one thing is for sure the dawn of the Son never rose again for Rebecca.