Such Great Love

Romans 5:7-10 (NASB)
"For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled we shall be saved by His life."

An airplane filled with passengers prepared to take off from an icy runway. While the passengers awaited the de-icing of the wings, they got a little more acquainted with each other. There was a general air of friendliness in the conversations, except for one man who managed to offend or upset nearly everyone around him by his obnoxious speech, insulting comments, and general bad attitude toward all around him. In essence, he was the worst passenger any plane could have.

The airplane got clearance to take off. It taxied down the runway and lifted into the air. But less than a minute into flight a problem developed. The plane could not turn around to head back to the airport, for it was going down fast. The terrified passengers watched as the ground quickly approached them. Then impact into a freezing lake.

Icy water quickly filled the cabin as the passengers who were able to move scrambled to get out to the emergency rafts now alongside the fallen aircraft. But one man would not run to safety. He continued to go back and forth into the flooded plane, pulling out those trapped inside to safety. Each trip the man got more and more tired. The cold water was taking its toll on him. The others outside shouted at him to come up out of the plane lest he fall to the cold, icy water in the cabin and die inside. But he did not heed them. He managed to get all the trapped passengers out except one person. It was the troublesome passenger. He was conscious, his hand reaching out, but was rapidly falling into the cold sleep of no return. In spite of the fact that he was such a terrible person, the rescuer still went in for the last time to pull him out. He used the last of his strength to take his outstretched hand and drag him to safety. Once he was out of harms way, the rescuer fell back into the cabin, not to be seen again alive. His strength gone, and the cold overcoming him. This passenger gave his life to rescue not only the other passengers who were decent people, but also the one who was such trouble to everyone.

We are like the troublesome passenger on this ill-fated flight. We were once enemies of God because we drifted and turned away from His path. But God showed His great love for us by coming down to rescue us while we were still His enemies, giving His life so that we may live. In just about any age of Earth's history or in any culture, such love would seem unfathomable or foolish. Especially in the "me" atmosphere of today's society. But God does love us. Far more than we can imagine. Far more than we can return. And He stretches forth His hand to rescue us from our sins.

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