Tom Harding

These last few weeks I have been watching with great interest the tragic events unfold in the coal mining disaster in Carbon County Utah. I grew up in this area and still have family there. I also now live in the coalfields of eastern Kentucky and have many friends that are coal miners. Here are six men trapped 2,000 feet under ground with no possible escape for them. I grieve with the families of those miners and I have prayed for a successful rescue. Many attempts have been made to save them. Drilling holes through solid rock to find them. Some even volunteered to go underground and dig them out. I applaud all these heroic attempts to rescue them. Recently, three men died trying to dig their way to the trapped miners. Sadly, their noble and valiant efforts failed in their rescue mission. What a compounded tragedy this has grown into, how frustrating all this must be to the families of all involved.

While I was thinking about the miners and their condition I also thought about the rescue mission of the Lord Jesus Christ coming to save His people from their sin (Matt. 1:21; Luke 19:10). Here we are trapped under the mountain of our sin, without any way of escape by our efforts. Digging our way out is not a remote possibility. In sovereign mercy, our Lord Jesus Christ volunteered to dig us out and save us by His marvelous grace. In doing so, He gave His life to save us (1Peter 3:18). His efforts to rescue us did not fail (Isa. 42:4; 53:11). He put away our sin by the sacrifice of Himself (Heb. 9:26). We give thanks to our most gracious God for such a sacrifice of infinite love (1John 4:9-10) irresistible and fetching grace (2Sam. 9:5). His death for His people was not a miserable tragedy but absolute victory and completely successful (John 6:37-40).

Consider these blessed words of our DELIVERER (Rom. 11:26).

He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities (Isa. 53:11).

I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep (John 10:10-11).

Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ, Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father: To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen (Gal. 1:3-5).

I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death (Rev. 1:18).

Tom Harding, Pastor
Zebulon Baptist Church
Pikeville, Ky.


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