Summary: a sermon that uses Matthew chapter 26 to help folk understand a world apparantly gone wild.
You thought you had a bad day?
We all have bad hair days – Maybe you are having one today but consider this story from Lt Cliff Judkins.
It had all started in the brilliant sunlight 20,000 feet above the Pacific Ocean as I nudged my F-8 Crusader jet into position behind the lumbering, deep-bellied refueling plane. After a moment of jockeying for position, I made the connection and matched my speed to that of the slowpoke tanker. I made the graceful task of plugging into the trailing fuel conduit so they could pump fuel into my tanks.
In June of 1963, Lt. Cliff Judkins' F-8 Crusader jet fighter caught fire over the Pacific Ocean during refueling. His ejection seat failed and he was forced to bail out manually (something that no one had ever done successfully from an F-8). Judkins leaped from the aircraft, but his parachute did not open. He hit the water and was pulled out alive about two and a half hours later. He returned to flying after a six-month hospital stay. He says - Within a few months I was all systems go again. My ankles were put back in place with the help of steel pins. The partially collapsed left lung re-inflated and my kidneys and intestines were working again without the need of prodding. When the cut-off switch failed, this allowed the tank to overfill and it burst like a balloon. This then caused the fire and flameout. We will never know why the ejection seat failed to work since it is in the bottom of the ocean. The parachute failure is a mystery also.
Do I feel lucky? That word doesn't even begin to describe my feelings. To survive a 15,000-foot fall with an unopened chute is a fair enough feat. My mind keeps running back to something Dr. Rhodes told me in the sickbay of the Los Angeles during those grim and desperate hours.
A while before Judkins had had his spleen removed.
He said that if I had had a spleen, it almost certainly would have ruptured when I hit the water, and I would have bled to death. Of the 25 pilots in our squadron, I am the only one without a spleen. It gives me something to think about. Maybe it does you as well.
Bad hair day?
Was this a good day or a bad day?
There is a bible verse that says:-
Romans 8:28 >>
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Many of the events in this story conspire in a way that sees Cliff Judkins survive and live to fly another day and he prays in the middle of it all. Sometimes bad things happen but God is working out his purposes.
This morning I want to encourage you that God has a purpose for your life and a destination.
Both of these are able to be gauged from the bible and here is a couple of passages from the book of Ephesians that can clarify both your purpose and destination:-
Ephesians 2:4: “But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions — it is by grace you have been saved.” According to this verse, it is because of God’s great love for us that we have been redeemed in Jesus Christ. The foundation, the source of our salvation, is the love of God.--------------------------------
10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
His destination is heaven and his purpose is to use us as his workmen on earth. But in order for us to fulfil our God given destinies it may be necessary for us to undergo what may be considered some bad days. But the bad day that we have may be fulfilling in some strange way God’s eternal long term plan and purpose that we don’t understand right now.
Matthew chapter 26 is a passage that covers a few days in Jesus life that are the funnel that leads him to the cross.
For anyone who has ever had a bad day or Something coming up that they dread I believe there are important principles and lessons here for us to explore to help us understand something of what is happening during those days that we label bad hair days.
The Plot Against Jesus
1 When Jesus had finished saying all these things, he said to his disciples, 2 “As you know, the Passover is two days away—and the Son of Man will be handed over to be crucified.”