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September 10, 2013

THE GEORGIA CAPITOL DEVOTIONAL - 10 September 2013

On Wednesday, 13 January 1982, an Air Florida Boeing 737 two-engine jet airliner departed from Washington National Airport in Washington, D.C., during a major snowstorm that was covering the area with considerable accumulation. Due to wing icing and other factors, the aircraft lost altitude and struck the 14th Street Bridge just moments after departure. The plane crashed into the solid ice covering the Potomac River. The tragedy resulted in 78 fatalities.

The horrified onlookers assumed that everyone aboard perished in the crash. One-by-one, however, six passengers appeared gasping for air and grabbing desperately to the tail of the plane. Staying afloat in the icy Potomac was brutal not just because of the cold but also due to the fractured arms and shattered legs of the survivors. Twenty minutes after the crash, rescue choppers from the Coast Guard and Park Police appeared unpredictably. A lifesaving ring was lowered into the hands of one of the survivors; however, he passed the ring to someone else five times.

All five were rescued, but the man in the water, who sacrificed his chances for being saved, vanished beneath the ice when it was his opportunity to be rescued. In 1985, the 14th Street Bridge was renamed the Arland D. Williams Jr. Memorial Bridge to honor the man who surrendered his life for the sake of others. The sacrifice of Williams was effective, albeit, as with most acts of heroism, his determination was deadly.

The recent Capitol Commission Bible study in Hebrews 9 taught that the name of the Christian’s rescuer is Jesus Christ. The Lord Jesus sacrificed his life “once to bear the sins of many” (Heb 9:28). The offering of Christ was effective because He has “put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself” (v. 26). Jesus’ offering does not need to be repeated. Although his offering was deadly because He sacrificed his own life, the Lord Jesus now offers a lifesaving ring to those who will believe (trust) in Him for salvation. One can trust Christ and receive eternal life!

The death of Christ was effective because his work will permanently remove sin. His sacrifice is encouraging because it provides hope to those who struggle to live holy lives in this world and who need their conscience cleansed (in other words, all of us). Christ’s offering is eternal and never needs repetition. The effective, encouraging, and eternal work of the Lord Jesus Christ provides forgiveness and the power for living a godly, holy life!

Do you know that when Jesus returns “a second time” that you will experience final salvation (v. 28)? Are you rejoicing because—by grace through faith in Jesus Christ—you have your conscience cleansed, and thus are relying upon God’s power and provision as given by the Living Word (Jesus Christ) and the written Word (Holy Scripture)? "Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us . . . fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith" (Heb 12:1-2)!

If the ministry of Capitol Commission can serve you in any way, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Grace and peace to you,

Ron J. Bigalke, Ph.D.
Georgia State Minister, Capitol Commission
ron.bigalke@capitolcom.org
www.capitolcom.org

Capitol Commission is prepared to encourage and enable local churches to participate in reaching our capitol communities for Christ (1 Tim 2:1-4). We only need to hear from you, if you have not already contacted us. We also seek to enlist individuals, businesses, and churches to become strategic partners with us in this ministry (2 Cor 8:3-6). Our success as a ministry is based upon God blessing all facets of the ministry, which certainly includes partners in this ministry. We earnestly desire to engage those who desire to participate in the ministry by offering their time and talents (Matt 25:20). If you have not already done so, join us and experience the joy of bringing hope, light, transformation, and truth to those who constitute our capitol communities.