February 3rd 2010

Free Recovery, Await Rescue

“Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage”

 Galatians 5:1 (NKJV)

 I’m sure if you drive on motorways as I occasionally do, that you will sometimes have seen temporary signs informing travellers that there are road works ahead and delays can be expected. Also, as you pass by the speed restriction signs and through the avenue of cones, you might see a sign that says “Free Recovery, Await Rescue”.

 It occurred to me recently that this particular sign can serve as a reminder to us all of the vital part that Christ has played and continues to play in our lives. 

Recovery and rescue was what Christ’s earthly ministry was all about. The apostle Luke records an account of when Jesus was attending a worship service in the synagogue at Nazareth, and was asked to read from the book of Isaiah. Luke tells us Jesus opened the book and read to the congregation:   “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.” 

Luke goes on to tell his readers that Jesus then closed the book and said to the congregation: “Today, this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing”. It seems those who heard those words initially marvelled at what he had said, but then grew angry at the answers he gave to the subsequent questions they asked of him—so much so that they grabbed hold of him and tried, unsuccessfully as it turned out, to push him off the top of a cliff  (Luke 4:16-30). 

Yet Jesus’ life turned out just as he had announced to that congregation. There are numerous accounts in the four gospels of the Bible of Jesus preaching the good news of a glorious Kingdom to come—of the granting of mercy and forgiveness to sinners, of numerous healings, of freedom from the throes of death, and the gift of eternal life into which all mankind may be delivered. Recovery and rescue indeed—and made freely available, as a gift from God, at no cost to us. Once having believed and accepted this, we then wait, in faith, for the fulfilment of that promise—and, during the interim, do what we can to share this wonderful good news with others. 

So the next time you see that “Free Recovery, Await Rescue” sign on the motorway, give thanks—not just for the thoughtfulness and help offered by the highway authorities, but also, and perhaps more importantly, to God for the greater offer and promise we have in Christ Jesus of a glorious and everlasting future in the Kingdom of God. 

Prayer

Thank you, Heavenly Father, for Christ’s rescue and recovery mission. Grant unto us, we pray, the where-with-all to share with others, as circumstances arise, this wonderful good news of salvation for all mankind. In Christ’s name.

Amen 

Study by Roger Clark

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