In a tragic boating accident in August, a young mother died while rescuing her two-year-old son from drowning.
It is an amazing story of heroism. According to a news report, 33-year-old Chelsey Russell jumped into Lake Powell after her son fell into the water while on a moving houseboat. He was not wearing a life jacket and neither was his mom. Russell grabbed her son and was able to hold his head above the water long enough for him to be rescued before she drowned and slipped further under the water.
Here are some quiet time thoughts based on this story to help us appreciate the cross more deeply.
One tragedy happened, three others need to be prevented.
Chelsey is already dead. It may have been an impulse, but I think she would have gone in to try to rescue her son even if she knew before she started that she would die trying to save him. She left the boat because she knew her son would die if she didn't try to rescue him.
It would be another tragedy if:
Her son never finds out (how much Chelsey loved him and how she died for him) OR
Her son never understands (what his mom did and why she did it) OR
Her son doesn't appreciate the sacrifice she made.
How the cross relates
Jesus knew each of us would die in our sins if he didn't complete the divine plan of atonement.
He planned his sacrifice; there was nothing impulsive about it.
He had to keep himself pure and holy so he could be the Lamb of God.
He suffered much more intently for us than Chelsey did. Her death was tragic, but there wasn't the additional component of extended physical suffering.
And it would be even more tragic for us if:
We never found out (how much God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit loved us and how Jesus died for us) OR
We never understood (what God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit did and why they did it) OR
We didn't appreciate the sacrifice they made.
The same three things are true for all of the people around us. That's why God wants us to reach out to others, so Jesus' sacrifice can save them, too. God believes in us so much. He believes that we can help the people he puts in our lives to know, understand and appreciate the truth about Jesus' sacrifice and how powerful and effective it is.
If you intently study through the following scriptures and pray about them, I think they will help you significantly.
John 8:24, "I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am he, you will indeed die in your sins."
Go back and study and pray about John 8:12-59. What did you see and learn?
Romans 10:14, "How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?"
Study and pray about Romans 10: 1-4, 14-15. What did you see and learn? What did you learn about the people who don't hear the gospel? What did you learn about our role as messengers?
1 Corinthians 1:18, "For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God."
Study and pray about 1 Corinthians 1 (the whole chapter). What did you see and learn? What did you learn about the people who don't understand the gospel?
1 Peter 2
1 Peter 2: 24 "He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; 'by his wounds you have been healed.'"
Study and pray about 1 Peter 2:1-25 (the whole chapter). What did you see and learn? What did you learn about the power of Jesus' suffering? What did you learn about the need for submission and the power of submission? What is the right way to show appreciation for Jesus' sacrifice?
Really glad to be your brother,