Thursday, November 15, 2018
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A lot of news stories just flash into our lives and and we forget them almost immediately. Then there are those images that are like embedded in our brains for years to come. For me, one of those was an image that took place of a little toddler named Jessica, who had been playing in her backyard in Midland, Texas, and suddenly she plummeted down this narrow little shaft. Depending on how old you are, you may or may not remember this. But she was wedged in there; trapped underground. It seemed as if the whole nation literally stopped to watch this tense vigil as rescuers tried to find a way to save that little girl. It was a long ordeal, but one rescuer, who used a parallel shaft, working in the tightest of quarters, was finally able to get to little Jessica. And I can still remember seeing it on TV live. In a moment of incredible relief and joy, he brought her out.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have "A Word With You" today about "Only One Hand to Grab."
Now, only one person came to rescue that little girl and no one had a problem with that. We were all just grateful there was one! So was little Jessica!
Now, when the Bible describes our spiritual condition, it's not unlike that of a little girl, in a desperate condition where her only hope was a rescuer. Because we've all lived our way instead of God's way, frankly. The Bible describes us with words like "lost" (Luke 19:10), "perishing" (John 3:16), "without hope, without God" (Ephesians 2:12). We're in a spiritual life-or-death situation from which we cannot extricate ourselves. But God, who loves us too much to lose us, sent His one and only Son "down that shaft" to be our Rescuer.
But He only sent one. Our word for today from the Word of God is in 1 Timothy 2:5. Remember these are God's words, not mine. "There is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus" - that's one go-between, one person who can bring us together with God and that's Jesus. Why? Well, the verse goes on to describe Him as "Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all men."
Now what's a ransom? It's the price you pay to get someone back. The price for getting you and me back to God was a death penalty. God makes it very clear in the Bible that "the wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23). The penalty for us running our own lives is eternal death in the form of separation from God. But, in God's own words, "God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son" (John 3:16). Jesus paid the death penalty for the sinning that you and I have done.
And no other religious leader even claimed that he was dying for us; that he was taking our hell. This isn't some intolerant prejudice that the Christian religion is better than other religions. If doing good was the way to get our sins forgiven, there are lots of good works we could do. But the Bible bluntly says, "It is by grace you have been saved (or rescued)... not by works" (Ephesians 2:8-9). If there had been any other way, God would not have had His Son die on that cross.
We can't pull ourselves out of our own sin-pit any more than little Jessica could have rescued herself. It doesn't matter which religion's good works you're doing. Only one person paid the death penalty that separates you from God. So any other hope of getting to heaven is a false hope. Grabbing Jesus' rescuing hand in total trust; that's your hope of being forgiven of your sins, that's your hope of going to heaven when you die.
The single most important question for eternity is this: have you ever grabbed Jesus' hand to rescue you from your sin? If you haven't - if you want to, tell Him that right now, "Jesus, I believe some of those sins you were dying for were mine. And you are my only hope of a rescue. Thank you for loving me that much. Beginning today I'm yours."
Next step, I would suggest go to our website ANewStory.com. It's there for you for a moment like this to be sure you belong to Him finally today.
Thank God, one Rescuer has come. Without Jesus, we have no hope. But because of Jesus, you can live forever! While He's reaching for you now, please grab His hand.