"An Inside Perspective"

Christmas 2010


My Dear Family in Christ,

Ever precious greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ!
This past year we saw what was perhaps the second most radical, ingenious, captivating rescue of all time. In the barren hills of Chile, a distant country, a mine collapsed trapping 33 miners about a mile and a half underground. For all intents and purposes their fate was forever sealed in their underground tomb as they set their hearts to die the slow and painful death of starvation amidst the misery of their hopelessness.

During the course of the first 17 days the miners tried everything humanly possible to find or make a way out. In their early, albeit dwindling hope, they rationed their food and water until they were down to a spoonful of tuna fish per man, every other day. They quickly learned, confirming their despair, that there was just no way out by their own effort.

There was no hope for these miners in and of themselves and they knew it. Their only hope was that someone else knew about their condition and would do something about it. They just laid around and waited, day after day. The very work that had to this point sustained them and their families had now become their prison, soon to be their grave.

Unbeknownst to them though, there were other fellow workers who knew of their general whereabouts. Motivated by love and the respect of life, the family members and fellow-workers fueled a rescue attempt of epic proportions. Their fellow-workers, including those that they recruited from around the world, pooled all their knowledge and resources. They took to heart, and then to task, the great challenge of reaching the entombed miners.

There was no evidence that anyone had survived, yet the rescuers hoped against hope that they would find someone. A plan was developed, with three facets, and all was set in motion. The hope was that if one or two facets failed, perhaps the third would succeed. The first goal was to locate the miners by boring a small six-inch shaft down to them through which food, water, and medicine could be delivered. Hope is the best medicine. (Prov.13:12; 17:22)

Three separate shafts were bored with three separate methods of approach. Miraculously, and with uncanny timing, the 33 miners were located and reached on the 33rd day! Food, water, and medicine were lowered down to the now hopeful miners. Now that they were found, the shaft had to be widened to fit a capsule big enough to fit a man who could be lowered down. Lord willing, that would take another month or so. But before anyone could go up, a man with the instructions, and who knew the way, had to first be lowered down. When all was said and done, the second greatest rescue in human history was successful, and all 33 men were saved and restored to their families, never to be the same again.

Years ago in the garden of God there was another collapse, a fall of inconceivable dimensions. Man disobeyed his Creator and became entombed in his “trespasses and sins” (Eph.2:1). Man was to die in the misery of hopelessness. It is written, “The soul that sinneth, it must die.” (Ez.18:20). During the course of man’s life he tried everything humanly possible to free himself from his condition. The very works that were ordained for God’s glory were now only more fodder for his looming judgment, and yes, “the last enemy” still remained, even death. (1Cor.15:26)

They had no hope in themselves, but only that Someone from the outside who knew their condition, driven by love, would act. Wonderfully fueled by love, the holy counsels of the Godhead in eternity past had brought forth a rescue plan of eternal proportions. (Jn.3:16). Three unfailing facets at work, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost: surely they would reach the entombed sinners!

In the Old Testament, as it were, God bored a six-inch shaft down to fallen mankind and delivered food (the Law), water (the Spirit), and medicine (hope) to prepare man for “the Hope” who was yet to come. Later, in the New Testament, the shaft was widened so to speak, and through a birth canal from eternity to time, came forth a capsule filled with grace and truth, even the Son of God made flesh! (Gal.4:4-5, Jn.1:14). Hallelujah! Jesus Christ hand delivered the gospel of hope! He came to set the captives free! He was lowered down to earth with the full instruction manual, even the Word, declaring, “I Am the Way!” (Jn.14:6). Beloved, He had to come down before we could go up!

Do you see why I called the Chilean rescue the “second” greatest rescue in human history? Note that all 33 men were saved. How much more so will all those that call upon the name of the Lord be saved eternally, never to be the same again?! Beloved, observe the grace of God in allowing the Christmas story to be told afresh today for the whole world to see! I love you all. May God bless you with a very. . .