In 1972, few American airmen were more valuable than Lt. Colonel Gene Hambleton. He carried highly classified information and knew secrets about cutting-edge missile technology. That knowledge would not only help in Vietnam, but could change the course of the entire Cold War itself. But when Hambleton’s aircraft was shot down behind enemy lines, he was hallucinating and half-starved. There was nothing he could do except lie and wait to be rescued from a flood of 30,000 North Vietnamese soldiers.
Nobody would choose to lie alone on an enemy battlefield. But here’s a holy truth, one in which we have no choice: our sins leave us in even more dire straits. Do not think more highly of yourself than you ought. The Bible teaches that even just one sin leaves us alone, under the domain of darkness.
But God did not abandon us to die alone under the domain of darkness. Instead, he volunteered that he would die alone. Jesus Christ did what nobody else could do. All by himself, he lived a perfect life. All by himself, he died on the cross. All by himself, he rose from the dead. And he did this to rescue all mankind, without exception. God says, “He has rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us into the kingdom of the Son he loves.” (HCSB, Colossians 1:13)
Notice that there are two activities involved here. The first one is RESCUED! But the next one is important too: TRANSFERRED! God did not just rescue us from the domain of darkness for a day, but then it’s up to us to rescue ourselves the next time. Or rescue us once from hellfire, but next week, can we be sure it still applies? No. Christ’s battle ended on Easter morning. We are both rescued and transferred into Christ’s holy kingdom, the kingdom of heaven! And never again will we be under the domain of darkness.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, you already have defeated Satan and the powers of hell in your finished work. Thank you. And as your message of rescue spreads, Satan’s work is constantly frustrated and destroyed. Thank you. Strengthen us with your Word as we battle temptation. Assure us that you have rescued us and transferred us into your eternal, heavenly kingdom. Continue to help us to reject Satan’s false claim that your commands are burdensome. Give us courage to fight sin, as we define ourselves as you do: a soul that has been both rescued from the kingdom of darkness, and transferred into your kingdom. Amen.