You who have made me see many troubles and calamities will revive me again; from the depths of the earth you will bring me up again. Psalm 71:20
For weeks we have watched the people of Huntington, Utah as they have tried to rescue, or find the bodies of the six miners who have been trapped in the depths of a mountain coal mine. Most of us have prayed for the men as well as their family and friends who have waited for good news that never came.
Even as North American news has centered on those six, halfway around the world, in China’s Shandong province, a similar story has been playing out. There 181 men have been trapped underground in a flooded coal mine.
If these 181 men are declared “dead”, that will bring this year’s number of deceased Chinese miners to an unbelievable total of 2,000. Those who keep track of such things have now said that coal mining in China has become the most dangerous job in the world.
I disagree. As a Christian I would have to say: “being the Savior of the world is the most dangerous job this world has ever seen.”
While the miners in China’s coal mines have a reasonable chance that they can put in a lifetime of work without having any major calamity or catastrophe befall them, Jesus had no such security. Indeed, before He was ever born, Isaiah prophesied: “he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed.” (53:5)
That Jesus knew the final fate that awaited Him is shown in His words: “the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”(Mark 10:45) That Jesus had told His disciples of how His life would end is revealed in the words of the angels at His empty tomb of resurrection. They reminded the mourning women: “Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified…” (Luke 24: 6b-7a)
So that we might be saved Jesus lived His life that could have only one ending: the cross of Calvary. Even though His death was destined to be tragic, Jesus remained faithful, praying in the Garden of Gethsemane: “Not My will, but Thy will be done.” So that we might be redeemed from our sin and be adopted into the family of faith, the Savior became our redeeming sacrifice. His life became His gift that saves; now our lives can be our gift that thanks Him.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, let my life be lived in thanksgiving for Your sacrifice that has saved me. In Your Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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