Escape and Rescue

John Telgren

You may have heard of the rescue of the 33 miners that spend 69 days trapped in a collapsed mine in Chile. After the mine had collapsed on August 5th, no one on the surface knew if any of the miners had survived the cave in. It wasn't until the 17th day, when drilling crews were able to drill a hole to the miners from which to pass messages and sustenance, that anyone knew their condition. After drilling an escape shaft, crews built a very narrow elevator to lift the miners out. It was no wider than a man's shoulders. Rescuers hoisted each miner from deep out of the rock, an ordeal which took over 22 hours to complete once they began hoisting them out. Having been in the dark for so long, each miner had to wear sunglasses to protect their eyes from the light.

It has been said that many of the miners had a Christian faith, and some had no faith at all when they went down into the mine. However, every single one of them came out of the mine professing faith. Just as there are no atheists in foxholes, there are no atheists in mines that have collapsed. All of the miners now say that there were 34, not 33 down in the mine because the Lord Jesus was with them the whole time. They credit their survival to God.

Imagine what it would be like to be trapped, not knowing if you will ever be rescued. With great difficulty, these men were finally rescued. The Bible speaks of others that are trapped with no way out. However, with this disaster, there is no way humanly possible for a rescue. The trap is the trap of sin. Once sin entered into the world and into a person's life, there is no way to get out of it. Once one is trapped, there is no way to get himself out. The Bible says that "all of have sinned" (Rom 3:23). This is why there is no way humanly possible for rescue. One trapped person cannot free another trapped person.

Fortunately, due to God's faithfulness, his righteousness, and love, God effected a rescue operation. It didn't involve drilling through over a thousand feet of rock, but involved a death on a cross, tasting of death, and a trip to Hades and back. Jesus destroyed the power of sin and now makes rescue possible. He drilled through what has been collapsed by sin and installed an elevator to lift us out. Now it is up to us to get on the elevator so he can rescue us from sin.

How do you get on that elevator? The first step is through accepting that he died for you on the cross and rose from the dead. It also means accepting him as your savior and Lord, which means letting him rule your life. The Bible calls this repentance. It means submitting to Christian baptism, where your old self, trapped in sin, is reborn free from sin. You become a new person no longer in the darkness of sin, but walking in the light of God, full of new life. It means growing in the faith, through bible reading, through practice, through prayer, and through fellowship. One cannot neglect it and escape from the cave in. Jesus is the only way out. What a wonderful savior he is!