October 13, 2010 will go down in history as the completion date for the greatest underground rescue operation ever accomplished—the Chilean Miners Rescue. Thirty-three miners were safely rescued after spending 69 days more than half a kilometre below the ground. This true story has now inspired the making of the recently released movie “The 33.”
The Chilean navy constructed a specially designed four metre long capsule that was eventually lowered down the newly drilled escape shaft. A few paramedics and rescue experts descended into the mine to run the rescue operation from below ground. Ranging in age from 19 to 63 years, the miners were strapped into the rescue capsule one at a time and hauled to the surface, a journey of about 16 minutes.
Upon his arrival, one of the miners, Mario Sepulveda exclaimed, “I have been with God and I’ve been with the devil. They both fought for me. God won, I seized the hand of God.”
This amazing event captured the world’s attention for days. Even more powerful is the way it echoes the greatest rescue ever. Just like those miners were trapped in darkness and separated from life above and needed to be rescued, so the Bible says we are trapped in the darkness of sin, separated from the life of God and need to be rescued: “Your iniquities (sins) have separated you from your God” (Isaiah 59:2). Ever lied? Ever lusted? Ever stolen something? Ever taken the Lord’s name in vain? These are merely a few examples of sins that separate us from the light and life of God’s presence: And since “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23) we are doomed to die and to be separated and lost from God’s life forever in hell, unless the problem of sin is dealt with. We can no more rescue ourselves from our present lost condition and this death sentence than the Chilean miners could rescue themselves from their dungeon of despair 625 metres below the surface. But, there is good news.
Just as the miners were brought out of darkness and death into light and life by the above ground rescue operation, so God has launched a rescue operation from above to save us. He descended from heaven, in the person of Jesus, and came down into our world of darkness. Jesus was fully man and fully God and he “came to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10). In the darkness of sin we are lost and helpless, cut off from God and without hope of heaven. But, when Jesus died on the cross, “he himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness” (1 Peter 2:24). That wasn’t the end of the story. Three days later the tomb was empty because he rose physically from the grave, thereby demonstrating his victory over sin and death.
On October 13 each miner had to decide to accept the offer of salvation and step into the rescue capsule. Each miner had to leave behind that darkness in exchange for the promise of life. In a similar way, each of us must leave behind (repent of) our sins and accept the offer of eternal life made possible by Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection. If you’ve never done that, here’s a prayer you could pray to do that today: “God, I am sorry for my sin and I ask for your forgiveness. Thank you that Jesus died and rose again to forgive my sins and rescue me. I accept your offer of salvation. I surrender my life and my future to you.”
If you prayed this prayer, like Mario Sepulveda, you will have seized the hand of God. You now need to get connected to a Bible-believing church where you can grow spiritually and meet with other believers for encouragement.
If you find this devotional from Pastor Bryan Guinness to be an encouragement to you, visit more like this at: www.bryanguinness.com