Thursday, May 24, 2012
Let me say at the outset - don't try this at home! But when I read the
about the 42-year-old man diving 2,400 feet out of a helicopter without a
parachute, I had to read more.
It happened yesterday in England when stuntman Gary Connery (no known
relationship to Sean) staged the feat. Thousands were on hand to watch from
distance as Connery dropped from the helicopter half a mile above the earth.
Normally a person could not hope to survive a fall from that distance, or
tenth of that distance.
Enabling Connery to pull off the feat without a serious injury were two
First, he wore a suit that enabled him to glide, rather than free-fall. If
you've ever seen a flying squirrel leap out of a tree, that's what the
looked like. By the time he hit the ground he was descending at a rate of
15 miles per hour.
The second factor is that he didn't actually hit the ground. He landed on a
carefully arranged stack of 18,600 cardboard boxes. Empty boxes, I might
meaning that the stack formed an effective cushion to break his fall.
Connery's feat is impressive; no doubt about that. But the only way he
have survived such a fall involved extraordinary means.
Satan once tried to get Jesus to perform a similar death-defying feat.
atop the pinnacle of the temple, Satan urged the Son of God to "throw
down. For it is written: 'He shall give His angels charge over you,' and
their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a
(Matthew 4:6). In one respect Satan was right: Had Jesus given in to the
temptation, residents of Jerusalem would have been talking for days about
But there was a greater Fall Jesus had in mind, and that led Him to reject
devil's suggestion. Jesus came to earth on a mission: "For the Son of Man
come to seek and to save that which was lost" (Luke 19:10). Mankind had
because of sin, and without the extraordinary measures taken by Jesus, none
us could survive this most lethal of all falls.
In John's gospel we learn of a woman who had been caught in the act of
(where, by the way, was the man?). Under the Law of Moses, she could have
stoned. Jesus, though, saw through the hypocrisy of her accusers, and
eventually they were exposed and all slinked away shamefully. Jesus turned
the woman: "Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more" (John 8:11). Her
physical life had been saved. More importantly, her soul was now on course
find eternal salvation.
Jesus then spoke these words: "I am the light of the world. He who follows
shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life" (John 8:12).
that light, none of us need stumble again.
Without Christ we are all in a state of free-fall. Unless we turn to the
and accept the extraordinary measures He put in place, we have no hope of
surviving the Fall. While there is time, let us go to Him!
Timothy D. Hall
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