April 20, 2009
Even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many. Matthew 20:28
Captain Richard Phillips is saved.
The message of Captain Phillips' rescue was one that heated up the wires of the world's news services. Christians who heard the story of how Captain Phillips had been moved from life to death in the late hours of Resurrection Sunday thought the story to be most appropriate.
For days the world had waited to see what would happen to the captain who had been willing to offer himself as a substitute for his crew.
Would he die? Would he be rescued? Would the pirates manage to get him to a place where he would never be found, or could never be brought to safety? These were the questions that prompted concern from almost everyone, which motivated countless prayers from Christian hearts everywhere.
And then, in a second, and on the day Jesus rose from the dead, Captain Phillips also had been saved from what seemed to be certain death.
But there is a difference between the rescue of Captain Phillips and the Savior's rescue of humanity. There is a big difference.
Captain Phillips was given a new lease on life because of the incredible marksmanship and skill of some Navy SEAL sharpshooters. And, as much as I admire and applaud the accuracy of those shooters, their work pales when compared with the work of the Savior.
Indeed, Jesus' entire life had been spent fulfilling the Father's commandments; every day was filled with Jesus resisting Satan's temptations. Then, upon Calvary's cross, Jesus gave Himself as our substitute. In short, Jesus didn't shoot a bullet to save us; He took the bullet, which sin, death, and the devil had aimed against us.
This is why, even as I give thanks for the rescue of Captain Phillips, I am even more thankful for the Savior who rescues sinners.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, for having taken death's bullet on my behalf I owe You everything. Through Your life, death, and resurrection I am forgiven and rescued. May my life always show the depth of my gratitude. In Your Name. Amen.
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Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries