For four days, what happened to the doomed Titan submersible was a mystery. Five souls aboard the craft traveled to see the Titanic resting on the sea floor two miles below the surface. One was a teenager whose mother gave up her seat so he could join his father. Would the passengers deplete their air supply? Could the vessel be located and raised? Then came the news of a debris field – catastrophic implosion and instant death. May God comfort those families.
The outcome of the Titan disaster was quite unlike the events of 2018. The world watched as rescuers in Thailand retrieved the soccer team boys trapped in a flooded cave. But these events do share something. They touch the human yearning for rescue, from either our own foibles or circumstances beyond our control.
The Bible appeals to this yearning for rescue as a picture of God’s grace. Jesus is the Rescuer. I realize that skeptics complain about this truth, saying that Jesus needed rescue from God. They argue against a child-abusing God who would throw his son under the bus. This is disingenuous because Jesus revealed Himself to be one with the Father (John 10:30). A better analogy is that God shoved you away from the speeding bus and took the blow Himself.
So, from what do you need rescue? From yourself for starters. The default human condition is self-idolatry, which puts you in a precarious position with God. But Jesus, by His great act of love and mercy, “rescues us from the wrath to come” (1 Thes. 1:10).
You also need rescue from this fallen world. Jesus “gave Himself for our sins so that He might rescue us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father” (Gal. 1:4). You need not question the presence of evil – you see it and have experienced it. The same evil that compels humans to steal, destroy, and kill, the same evil behind flooded caves, undersea catastrophes, and death…that evil would keep you in the dark and away from the light of God’s truth.
But there’s grace! “He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins” (Col. 1:13). “Enemy-occupied territory—that is what this world is,” C.S. Lewis writes. “Christianity is the story of how the rightful king (Jesus) has landed” and has begun his campaign of rescue.
You receive God’s rescue by faith in Jesus Christ. That means you cooperate with your Rescuer. It is a rescue not like the lost hope of the Titan submersible. It is more like the Thailand boys, brought through perilous darkness and danger, and delivered to the light of day and safely home. That’s a picture of grace.