A rescue mission is an operation to reach and rescue people in urgent need, such as after a disaster or before an anticipated disaster. In order to initiate a rescue mission, the following three indicators have to be in place:
1) There has to be a pending disaster, or a disaster that has already occurred.
2) There has to be a person or people in danger because of the disaster.
3) There have to be people willing to carry out the operation.
It’s important to note that when rescue missions don’t succeed, whether because the effort wasn’t initiated in a timely manner or those in danger refused to follow directions, the end result is tragic—people perish!
In a similar way, we can take a rescue mission into the spiritual realm.
Let’s see if the three indicators are present.
A) Pending disaster- God’s wrath and pending judgment against sinners.
B) People in danger- People, the descendants of Adam and Eve, the first couple.
C) Someone or people willing to carry out a rescue mission- God the Father and Jesus Christ His Son.
Why are people in danger, and what danger are they facing? They are in danger because they have sinned against God the Father, and are in danger of His judgment: “When Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Adam’s sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned” (Romans 5:12 NLT). Judgment is imminent unless there is a rescue mission. This is how the Bible expresses it: “For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standards” (Romans 3:23 NLT). Man can in no way make the acceptable restitution; there has to be a rescue mission outside of man, or man has to face God’s judgment and condemnation.
God, out of His love for man, put a rescue mission into motion. He sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, into the world to take on human form, live sinless, as a man among men, suffer at the hand of sinners, and be judged and falsely accused. Having been found guilty falsely, He was condemned to death by crucifixion on a wooden cross. For three hours, He hung on a cross, bleeding and in pain. The worst part of His suffering was the separation He felt from God His Father. He cried out: “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” (Mark 15:34 NLT). He asked for water, and instead of water, they gave Him vinegar! Since when did vinegar become a thirst-quencher? At the end of the three hours, He died. He was buried in a borrowed tomb; three days later, He rose from the dead, winning victory over death and the grave! The Bible explains it this way: “When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners” (Romans 5:6 NLT).
For forty days after rising from the dead, He showed Himself to many, as proof that He was alive! After the forty days, He ascended into heaven, where He sits at the right hand side of the Father, interceding for us.
So how does Jesus’ death rescue man? In short, Jesus died the death man deserved to die; He exchanged places with man. He died so man would live! The Bible states it this way: “God showed His great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation” (Romans 5:8-9 NLT).
Now, dear sinner, if you haven’t already, you need to acknowledge your sins, repent, and accept Jesus as your Savior. God will gladly forgive you; after all, the rescue mission was His idea, and He therefore will honor it.
Just as people perish when rescue missions fail, sinners will also perish if they refuse to be rescued. People should want to be rescued; Jesus died for all, but they have to want to be saved, and should follow directions that would lead to their salvation: “Adam’s sin led to condemnation, but God’s free gift leads to our being made right with God, even though we are guilty of many sins” (Romans 5:16 NLT). If they don’t, their punishment will be judgment and condemnation to hell. There’s no need to perish when God’s rescue mission is available, but be aware it won’t be available forever. You need to accept this rescue while you’re alive; after death, it will be too late.