I wonder did you read recently about the British man who survived a fall from the 15th floor of an apartment block in New Zealand. The twenty year old man fell while trying to lower himself onto his Auckland balcony from a neighbour's apartment which was directly above his. (Please don't do try this at home kids!) It appears that the roof of an adjacent building, some 13 floors below, broke his spectacular fall.
As you would understand, the likelihood of such a fall would normally result in death. According to the BBC though, history records others who have survived falls from much higher altitudes…
On Christmas Eve 1971, Juliane Koepcke, 17, was flying over the Peruvian rainforest with her mother when her plane was hit by lightning. "I was in a freefall, strapped to my seat bench and hanging head-over-heels," she told the BBC. "The whispering of the wind was the only noise I could hear." But she survived a two-mile (3.2km) fall and found herself alone in the jungle with a broken collarbone and deep cuts on her legs. All the other 91 passengers on the flight had been killed.
Koepcke herself has suggested a number of possible explanations for her survival - that a gust of air from the storm may have slowed her fall; that the three-seat bench on which she sat spun like a maple seed on its way down; that the vegetation she hit on the way down was particularly dense; and that she struck the trees with her seat beneath her, cushioning the drop.
There is also this true story which I remember reading about in the Guinness Book of World Records. Again, from the BBC website…
In January 1972, 22-year-old Yugoslav flight attendant Vesna Vulovic's plane exploded following a suspected terrorist bomb. The Guinness Book of Records recorded that Ms Vulovic plummeted 33,000ft (10,160m) before landing in snow at Srbska Kamenice in the former Czechoslovakia. Despite serious injuries including a fractured skull, three broken vertebrae and two broken legs, Ms Vulovic survived. She was found in the wrecked aircraft's fuselage, which may have cushioned her landing.
The other spectacular fall I thought about was the fall of the whole human race through Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. This is covered in the Bible in Genesis Chapter 3 and many know the story. From that one event we have all been affected by the consequences of our first parents' actions. Sin is all around, death is unavoidable and life is tough for many.
But as I read those incredible stories of individuals surviving spectacular falls and how their falls were cushioned, I also thought about how the spectacular fall of the human race was also "cushioned". After Adam and Eve were deceived by Satan and committed that very first sin, God pronounced a number of hardships which we are all familiar with today (physical death, pain in childbirth, etc.). There is an extra one though which few bother to think about. As well as physical death being in front of all of us, we also have the prospect of spiritual death too. Our relationship with a holy God was well and truly broken. But then (and it's a spectacular "but") we are given this promise in the very first prophecy in the Bible…
"…And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise him on the heel." (Gen 3:15)
God, in speaking to Satan, was foretelling of a future offspring of Adam i.e. the virgin-born Jesus, who would completely defeat Satan (bruised on the head). Although in doing so, Jesus would have to suffer for this to be accomplished (bruised on the heel).
I know this verse is in vague language but we almost have the gospel message here in the 3rd chapter of the first book of the Old Testament. The fall of the human race was spectacular but our Creator God cushioned that fall with a way back to Him! Spiritual death is now avoidable if we would only accept God's freely available salvation through Jesus Christ, God's only and spectacular Son…
"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life." John 3:16
For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. (1 Cor. 15:22)
He died that we might be forgiven,
He died to make us good,
That we might go at last to Heaven,
Saved by His precious blood.
O dearly, dearly, has He loved,
And we must love Him, too,
And trust in His redeeming blood,
And try His works to do.
Only a spectacular God can put us back together again after a spectacular fall.
Until next month then (DV)…
(All Bible quotations are from the NASB)
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