33 miners. 69 days underground. Bad News. Their world has been filled with darkness, murky air, cramped space, little beauty, and the constant awareness that there is something more to life than what they have been experiencing. But then a rescuer arrives, he comes from a place where life is so much more than what they have been experiencing. A life filled with light, relationships, fresh air, life awaits them.
The rescuer describes the route to life, what to expect from the journey, how long it might take. Then the first miner steps inside the rescue capsule. It’s small. No room to move your arms during your half mile journey into life. As I’m watching the first miner come out, I’m reminded just a bit of birth…it’s like they are being born again. The capsule comes up out of the ground the crowd — family, friends, those who have worked for the rescue — give out a cheer. The miner steps out, the hugging ensues, reuniting with family. His father welcomes him home. Good News.
It made me think of the gospel — rescue attempts, born again journey, the cheer of a family welcoming you to life. Gospel. Good News.
It also made me think of heaven. Which I guess is something like being born again — again. Imagine if the cave 1/2 mile below ground was all you knew. It was the extent of your life. You would make the best of it, and perhaps at times you might even have moments of thinking… “This is as good as it gets.” There are rumors of another world, rumors of something more up above, moments of hope but lots of darkness. But then the rescuer comes from the world above and provides a way of rescue, as long as you are willing to make the long journey through darkness into the light.
I love good questions, ones that make you think. Jon Ortberg asks one in his book, Everybody’s Normal Till You Get to Know Them. He asks, “What were the most exciting five minutes of your life?” What were they for you?
– The last part of a marathon race that you won.
– When your daughter graduated from college.
– Those five minutes surrounding the words… I do.
– Maybe it’s a Christmas memory… or the birth of one of your kids…
Ortberg suggests that if we could remember them, there’s a good chance that our most exciting five minutes would’ve been our first five minutes. Imagine after 9 months of isolation, darkness, muted sounds, and subdued sensations…you burst into this world of light, color, sounds, tastes, and people…this unknown, strangely familar world, a whole new experience previously beyond your wildest dreams.
But think about this…if the first five minutes of your life were the most exciting to this point…perhaps the most amazing five minutes you will ever experience will be the first five minutes after you die. Imagine that.
For centuries, minds have pondered, books have been written, movies have been produced, all trying to peer beyond the veil…five minutes after you die, you will know…what we have tried to imagine. You will begin to experience a life that goes beyond this world. You will take the first bites of your forever destiny. Jon Ortberg writes,
Those five minutes are really coming. Whatever lies beyond them, they are inevitable. They will happen for every one of us. Thisis reality. Think about the sights you will see, the voices you will hear, the experiences you will have. The writers of scripture say that for every human being those five minutes will indicate an eternal destiny of either indescribable joy or unspeakable loss.
To find indescribable joy, we simply need to be rescued. We need to have someone make a way, and show us the way. And can I tell you, when you need someone to make a way, and show you the way, it helps if He is the Way. That’s what Jesus claimed to be. If you feel the need to be rescued, ask Jesus. What lies ahead is simply indescribably — Good News.