On August 5, 2010 the world was captivated by a news story out of Chile. A mine caved with 33 miners trapped inside. For 17 days it was believed all 33 miners were dead. Yet, 17 days after the mine collapsed, a rescue probe drilled down 2,000 feet and came back with the message “All 33 of us are well inside the shelter.” A borehole was then drilled to provide the miners with food, water, oxygen and letters from loved ones. The 33 miners were 2,000 feet underground for almost 70 days before they could be removed from the collapsed mine.
It is an amazing rescue story, but I have one that is even better:
For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
– Colossians 1:13-14
Your sin places you in darkness and in need of rescue
Like the miners trapped 2,000 feet underground, you are in darkness and in need of rescue. In Creation God created man in his image and for his glory. In the Fall man chose to do what is right in his own eyes and man has been doing the same ever since. Look around and you’ll see the tidal wave of destruction caused by the Fall. We live in a world that celebrates doing what is right in your own eyes.
The Bible short hands doing what is right in your own eyes as “sin.” I know it is popular to speak of the sins of other people. It is easy to point out the sin of politicians and the sin of your neighbors. Yet, I invite you to look into the hallways and dark corners of your own heart.
You may or may not be aware of your particular sin of choice. Perhaps it is pride, anger, greed, lust, or sexual in nature. Perhaps you’re careless with your words. Careless with your actions. Careless with your spending. Perhaps you willingly run the opposite direction from the God who created you.
The tidal wave of destruction from the Fall and is merely the cumulative sum of people doing right in their own eyes. But don’t fail to see your sin has consequences.
In Colossians 1:13-14 the broken relationship with your Creator is given the metaphor of darkness. The fear, shame, and guilt of your sin is given the metaphor of darkness. Your desire to follow the ways of the world is given the metaphor of darkness. Your propensity to believe the lie of the serpent is given the metaphor of darkness.
Your sin causes separation from God. You feel that here on earth. You will be even more aware of the separation in eternity.
Your rescue comes in the form of a Savior
Rescue is found in Jesus and Jesus alone. Our Heavenly Father sent Jesus to rescue us from the dominion of darkness in order to bring us into the kingdom of the Son he loves. This is called redemption – the forgiveness of our sin.
If you keep reading Colossians 1, you’ll find this rescue plan involved Jesus shedding his blood on the cross … for you. Through Jesus’ death and resurrection, we are rescued from the dominion of darkness. If you keep reading Colossians 1, you’ll see that Jesus reigns supreme over all thrones, powers, rulers, and authorities. It’s the greatest rescue story of all-time and all-eternity.
Jesus provides light, freedom, and forgiveness
For regular Bible reads these two verses in Colossians tie together a big theme in the Biblical narrative. The verb “rescued” in verse 13, together with the term “redemption” in verse 14, echo God’s deliverance of Israel in the Exodus narrative: “I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. I will free you from being slaves to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment (Exodus 6:6).”
Israel was enslaved in the dark land of Egypt – oppression, suffering, dejection, hopelessness. Then God, with His mighty right hand, redeemed them. He brought them out of slavery and into a land flowing with milk and honey. Yet, the remainder of the Old Testament tells the sad story of God’s people willingly returning to destruction time and time again.
In the New Testament God provides the eternal solution. Jesus rescues you from the darkness dominion of darkness and brings you into the light, freedom, and forgiveness.