Man Diving“So, it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit.” 1 Corinthians 15:45 (NIV)

Satan seemed to be victorious in the Garden of Eden and at The Cross of Jesus. But God turned Satan’s apparent victory into defeat when Jesus Christ rose from the dead. As the Apostle Paul reminds us, “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” 1 Corinthians 15:55 (NIV)

Death is no longer a source of fear for those who believe in Jesus. For those who don’t believe in Jesus, death is surrounded with mystery, fear, anger, and frustration. Christ came to show us that death has been defeated, and we should have hope beyond the grave. For Christians death is not the end; it is a doorway into eternal life. But we must come to The Cross.

I’m reminded of a story that helps put The Cross into perspective. In 1967 a young University of Cincinnati College student was working through the issues of his faith. Charles Murray was an Olympic prospect and a very skilled high diver. He was not raised in a Christian home and was struggling with God over some of the issues his roommate discussed about the forgiveness of sin and the saving power of The Cross.

Charles began reading the New Testament and continued to debate spiritual issues with his roommate. For some reason, the clarity of God’s message did not reach Charles’ heart. He became frustrated with his confusion and declined any further discussions on this topic with others.

Because he was training for the Olympic games, Charles had special privileges at the University pool facilities. One evening he became very restless and confused with his spiritual struggle and decided to spend some additional time practicing dives. Sometime between 10:30 and 11:00 PM he went to the pool. It was a clear night in October and the moon was big and bright.

The University pool was housed under a ceiling of glass panes. The moon shone brightly across the top of the wall in the pool area. Charles came through the back door, put down his gear, and immediately climbed the tall ladder leading to the highest platform. He believed that there was no need to turn on the pool lights because the glow of the moon filtered enough light into the building.

At that moment the Spirit of God began to convict Charles of his sins. All the Scripture he had read, and all the occasions others witnessed to him about Christ flooded his mind. He stood on the platform backwards to make his dive, spread his arms to gather his balance, looked up to the wall, and saw his own shadow on the side of the pool building. The moonlight silhouetted his body projecting the shape of a cross on the stark, white wall.

When he saw the cross, Charles could bear the burden of his sin no longer. His heart broke as he sat down on the platform and asked God to forgive him and save him. He trusted Jesus Christ on a twenty-foot platform with only the walls of the building to hear his confession.

Suddenly, a door opened and the lights of the pool area came on. One of the maintenance workers had come to check some work he had been doing on the pool. As Charles looked down from his platform he saw an empty pool, which had been drained for repairs. He had almost plummeted to his death, but the cross had stopped him from disaster.

Accepting the sacrifice of Christ death upon Calvary’s Cross can keep us from disaster. The Cross points the way to eternal salvation. Easter reminds us about the importance of Calvary’s Cross and the following resurrection. Other religions do not have a risen Savior. Praise God our hope is in Jesus who conquered death and who promises each believer life after death.

“For the preaching of the Cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.” 1 Corth. 1:18

Personal Application:

What event(s) in your life have had a profound impact on how you perceive Calvary’s Cross?

How does John 10:9 apply to a Christian’s life? “Whoever enters through me will be saved.”

Can you share with at least one person this week your story about how Christ came into your life?

Jim Grassi, D. Min.