Bryan Chapell recalls that on August 16, 1987, Northwest Airlines flight 225 crashed just after taking off from the Detroit airport, killing 155 people. One survived: a four-year-old from Tempe, Arizona, named Cecelia.
News accounts say when rescuers found Cecelia they did not believe she had been on the plane. Investigators first assumed Cecelia had been a passenger in one of the cars on the highway onto which the airliner crashed. But when the passenger register for the flight was checked, there was Cecelia’s name.
Cecelia survived because, even as the plane was falling, Cecelia’s mother, Paula Chican, unbuckled her own seat belt, got down on her knees in front of her daughter, wrapped her arms and body around Cecelia, and then would not let her go.
Nothing could separate that child from her mother’s love – neither tragedy nor disaster, neither the fall nor the flames that followed, neither height nor depth, neither life nor death.
Like that child caught in the middle of the disaster, so we have been trapped by our own sin, spiraling down to an inevitable doom. But our God loved us so much that He left heaven, came down to our level, and covered us with the sacrifice of His own body so that we might be saved from the Fall. *
“For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39).
Jesus “Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness; by whose stripes you were healed” (1 Peter 2:24).
Jesus gave His life for us so that we can live together with Him (1 Thessalonians 5:10).
“O Love that will not let me go,
I rest my weary soul in thee;
I give thee back the life I owe,
That in thine ocean depths its flow
May richer, fuller be.”
— George Matheson
Our response to His sacrificial love should be to accept His offer of salvation and live out our lives in grateful, loving service to Him.
God will save and give eternal life to those who place their faith and trust in Jesus (Acts 16:30-31), turn from their sins in repentance (Acts 17:30-31), confess Jesus before men (Romans 10:9-10), and are baptized (immersed) into Christ for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38). Then, as we continue to walk in the light of His Word, the atoning blood that Jesus shed for us will continue to cleanse us from all sin (1 John 1:7).
Won’t YOU embrace the sacrificial, saving love of God through your trusting obedience?