Last week in Guatemala lives were lost in mudslides and flooding. Rescuers risked their lives to search unstable land and debris for those they knew were alive, but in need of saving. Some rescuers met their own deaths in attempts to reach the lost. When the saviors arrived, they were not to be stopped in attempting to reach the dying, but they could not defeat death.
Jesus came to earth in response to the need to rescue those facing certain death. “The Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost” (Luke 19:10). He was reaching out to those in dire straits, doomed to the end sin brings (Matt. 9:13) as Teri Lynne shared last week. His love is for those who are without hope, totally helpless, staring death in the face if a Rescuer doesn’t reach them. We know the compassions of our Lord do not fail (Lamentations 3:22) and He exercised the greatest love when He gave His life for us (John 15:13). While He is a holy God, everything about Who He is communicates His loving nature, so He acts in His compassionate desire to “tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea” (Micah 7:19). As we look at salvation this month, God’s whole plan to spare us from our deserved end is proof of His love for us. He offers us, the dying, trapped in the suffocating mud of our sin, the chance to have our sins blotted out and remembered no more (Isaiah 43:25).
What could possibly be so enticing in the midst of the mud to make us want to stay longer, maybe until the risky “final hour,” before we reach out and take the Rescuer’s hand?
God demonstrated His heart for the dying by giving His own Son’s life as an expression of His great love for us. I can’t fathom sending my beloved child into a horrible death so they could send others out to safety at the price of their own life. I’m sure I would hold back my precious child, beg them not to go into the blackness, and call their name to return to me. But God sent Jesus in for us. It’s a love that doesn’t begin to describe human rescuers; only the Divine can love like this: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness” (Jeremiah 31:3). Kristi shared last week how only God is good. To be reached and rescued by such a great love, it seems only two responses are appropriate: gratitude to the Savior and help to the others still trapped in the mud.
Is God’s love this great for every man? I know it is. Luke 15 tells the story of a shepherd, a shepherd who left 99 sheep to go search for one lost sheep. When he found it, he put it on his shoulders in protection, claimed it as his own, and carried it to safety.
From one sheep who was dying to another, it’s a great view from the shoulders of the Shepherd, and my heart is grateful He came for me.
How has God shown you His ongoing love in your life?
(photo Assoc. Press)