Saved from the Falls
Good morning from Managua, Nicaragua!
As I consider the significance of Easter another story from my childhood comes to mind. When I was a kid, my family and I would often travel to the mountains in western Maryland to hike and camp. On one such trip, we traveled to Cunningham Falls State Park to hike the falls and relax. If you are unfamiliar with Cunningham Falls it is a waterfall that travels down a rock wall that has a relatively gradual incline, which makes in relatively easy to hike. Additionally, the waterfall is split into a few different parts, creating space of the rock face to walk. The divided nature of the waterfall also created opportunities to test your jumping ability, which would come back to haunt me on this day.
As we neared the top of the waterfall, most of my family decided to sit down on one of the large boulders to enjoy the view. I, however, was not interested in sitting so my dad and I continued to explore the waterfall. Arriving at one of the places where the waterfall was flowing down the rock, my dad told me not to attempt to jump across without his help as it was very slippery and I could easily fall and be taken down the waterfall by the water. As is not uncommon for a young boy, I decided my dad was being too cautious and that I could easily jump the water. Launching myself into the air, I attempted to make it across on my own. All was well until I landed about six inches short of the other side. As my dad had told me, the part of the rock surface that was covered by the waterfall was very slippery and did not create a good landing spot. As my feet came out from under me, I reached for anything that I could grab. Thankfully, I was able to grab something to keep me from going down the entire falls, but it would only provide momentary safety as the current was stronger than my grip. It was at that moment that I was glad I was not alone. Realizing what had happened, my dad reached out to grab my arm and to rescue me from my helpless and dangerous position. Instead of being carried down the falls and suffering injuries or worse, I had been saved by my loving father.
This story is not too different from what happened on a Sunday morning a little over 2,000 years ago. Much like I was, mankind was in a helpless and dangerous position. God had created a perfect world in which we could be in a perfect relationship with him. Instead we had decided to break that relationship by deciding our way was better than his. The fall created by this decision is still impacting our world today. The brokenness and pain we see and experience daily tells us something is not right. God, however, did not and does not leave us there. In John’s account of Jesus’ life he records these famous words of Jesus- “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” (John 3:16-17, NIV) Instead of allowing us to suffer the full consequences of our decision, God sent a Savior in the form of Jesus to reach out an arm and rescue us. By coming to earth, living a perfect life, and dying on our behalf, Jesus created a way for our broken relationship with God to be redeemed. As Jesus rose from the dead and was restored on that famous Sunday morning we now call Easter, we have the opportunity to do the same and to be restored to a perfect relationship with God for eternity.
This is what Easter and being a Follower of Christ is all about. It is about our Savior, Jesus, reaching out to save us from our brokenness. No matter how far we have fallen, Jesus can reach us. As you celebrate Easter this year, I hope you will reflect on this truth. We have all turned our back on God, our Father, but through a relationship with Jesus, we have the opportunity to be redeemed and restored. This Easter will you take the hand of your loving Father? The choice is yours.
– James Belt