On August 5, a mine shaft in Chile caved in, trapping 33 miners almost 1000 feet underground*. Yesterday, after 69 days, they began rescuing the 33 miners one-by-one. The magnitude of the effort to save them cannot be understated. The story can be followed here.
* That’s about the distance from the Empire State Building Observation Deck to the ground.
The weeks following today’s rescue will be filled with a mixture of elation, relief, rest and gratitude. I imagine it will be days, if not weeks, before any of the miner’s lives get back to any semblance of normal. In fact, one of the miners, only 19 years old, has written a letter stating that he believed God had a purpose for him to be down there and his life will not be the same afterward.
However, imagine, if you would, that many days from now, one of the miners decides that he actually prefers his life in the mine shelter and finds a way to climb back down the mine shaft and plans to live the rest of his life down there. At first, there would be curiosity and probably ridicule. However, eventually, there might even be outrage over the gargantuan effort it took just to extract him from that very shelter in the first place. Eventually, however, I think sadness would be the prevailing sentiment that would rule the day. How could this man, who was rescued from that prison, still desire to live in it?
It is with the same ridicule, outrage and sadness that we must view ourselves when followers of Christ return to a life of sin. You see, we have been rescued from a pit of darkness from which we could not rescue ourselves. However this pit was not just 1000 ft deep. And we were not just at risk of death. And it wasn’t just 69 days. The pit we were trapped in is our sins… and it rendered us spiritually dead.
As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins.
Having been rescued from that pit of death and raised to life, through Christ, how could we return to a life of sin? God rescued us by climbing into the pit and saving us. And the new life that we have been given is to be lived for him… for his glory.
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
~ Galatians 5:1
So, remember, you have been set free by a God who rescued you and who died in your stead. He did it to rescue from the pit of death called sin and he also did it to give you a new abundant and fulfilled life. So, live with a new purpose and new perspective. And stop climbing down the mineshaft again.
I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.