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Saturday, April 3, 2021

From Despair to Delight

From Despair to Delight

On February 27, 1991, Ruth Dillow received the worst news of her life. Two
U.S. Army officers came to her home to notify her that her son, Pfc. Clayton
Carpenter, age 20, had died after stepping on a land mine in the Middle
East. He had stepped on the mine just two hours before the Gulf War
hostilities ended. Dillow was devastated.

Imagine her shock when her phone rang two days later and a young man
identified himself as her son. "It was such a shock; I was afraid somebody
was playing with my mind," she later reported. "I asked him questions only
he would know the answers to." He answered them all correctly. Dillow knew
that the young man was her son. Clayton was alive!

Dillow said that her son had called from a battlefield hospital. He was
wounded, but he was very much alive! He told his mother that he did not
know why she had been told that he had died.

The U.S. Army admitted its mistake. In a prepared statement, officials said
that Carpenter ″was mistakenly reported as killed in action on Feb.
27. In fact, Private Carpenter was lightly wounded when a bomblet
exploded... The U.S. Army regrets the error."

From receiving the worst possible news to hearing the best, Dillow's
emotions had gone from deep mourning to extreme joy. She was overjoyed.

Jesus Christ, the sinless Son of God, died on the cross for our sins (1
Peter 2:24). Witnesses, both family and foe alike, observed his death by
crucifixion. Roman soldiers went to the three crosses on Golgotha that day
to make sure that the victims had died. If they had not died, they would
break their legs hastening their deaths. "But when they came to Jesus and
saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs. But one of the
soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came
out" (John 19:33-34).

Jesus was buried in a tomb. His family and His disciples mourned greatly.

On the third day, early one Sunday morning, some women came to the tomb of
Jesus to anoint His body for burial. When they arrived at His tomb, the
stone blocking the entrance had been rolled away and the tomb was empty.
Angelic messengers proclaimed the Good News: "He is not here; for He is
risen" (Matthew 28:6). Jesus had been raised from the dead! What wonderful
news for His family, His disciples, and for you and me.

The Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is wonderful news for you and
me because it means that the claims that Jesus made are validated. It means
that the payment for the sins of the world was accepted by God. It means
that we have hope beyond the grave. His resurrection guarantees us of our
own (1 Corinthians 15:20).

The core of the Gospel (the Good News) is that "Christ died for our sins
according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again
the third day according to the Scriptures" (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). His
death, burial, and resurrection accomplished our salvation. Now, we must
accept His offer on His terms.

God will save and give eternal life to those who place their faith and trust
in Jesus (Acts 16:30-31), turn from their sins in repentance (Acts
17:30-31), confess Jesus before men (Romans 10:9-10), and are baptized
(immersed) into Christ for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38; Romans
6:3-4). He will continue to cleanse from sin those who continue to walk in
the light of His Word (1 John 1:7-9).

Won't YOU accept His offer on His terms? You can go from the despair of sin
to the delight of salvation and eternal life.

-- David A. Sargent

* Information gleaned from "Soldier Reported Killed in Action Phones Home;
Army Regrets Error" by the Associated Press, published March 2, 1991,

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