Bernie Webber was a young Coast Guard man in early 1950's Massachusetts. One cold, stormy night in February, the station received word that an oil tanker had split in half and was calling for help some miles from where they were. All the Coast Guard stations in the area sent their available boats that were large enough to go into the storm to help rescue the men. Several hours later, however, the stern half of another split tanker was spotted several miles off shore beyond a dangerous sand bar. Since no other boat was available, Bernie was ordered to choose a crew of three men and take the small rescue boat they had left, cross the sand bar, and see what they could do to help. Several of the villagers told Bernie to "try" to cross, get "lost", and then come back. They knew there was no way the little boat could make it through the storm. But Bernie pointed the bow of his 36-foot boat towards the waves and said, "They tell us we have to go out. They don't tell us we have to come back." Through one miracle after another, Bernie and his crew were able to save 32 out of the 33 men on that ship and bring them back to safety in their boat designed to hold 14 or 15 men.

You know, there was Someone else Who embarked on a rescue mission that would inevitably lead to death. It's easy to think sometimes that when Jesus left heaven, He was completely confident knowing that in thirty-three years He would be back home. But there was a very real possibility that Jesus could have failed in His mission. There was a very real possibility that Jesus could have died never to rise again. I can hear Him saying as He left the courts of heaven, "My Father told me I have to go. He didn't tell me I have to return." He was willing to make that sacrifice and take that risk so that we could be saved. Such unselfishness and love! Jesus told His disciples, "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends" (John 15:13). Can we have that kind of love and unselfishness?

Thanking my Divine Rescuer,

Pastor Sutherland

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