On a Thursday afternoon in August 2010, thirty-three miners were digging, hauling and drilling rock, deep beneath the Atacama Desert, in Chile. A mineshaft above the workers exploded and then collapsed. The 33 Chilean miners were trapped in rubble some three miles underground. For about two weeks, the world assumed the men had died.
Then, 17 days after the collapse, a drill bit returned to the surface with a message taped to it written in bold, red letters: “Estamos bien en el refugio, los 33.” (In English, “We are well in the shelter, the 33 of us.”)
One source records that, “Once the rescuers, and the world, knew that the men were alive, Chile implemented a comprehensive plan to both care for the workers during their entrapment and to rescue the miners from the depths.”
In the same way, when God looked down and saw humanity trapped in the contaminated rubble of sin, He implemented a two-prong rescue plan: First, to sustain us during our entrapment in this fallen world; and second, to rescue us out of this darkness. This is why Jesus left heaven and came to earth, on a rescue operation.
Jesus spoke about this rescue plan when He said, “I have come that you may have abundant (or full) life.” He came from Heaven to give us peace and purpose during our time in this dark world. He also came to rescue us out of the depths entirely. He referred to this escape plan when He said, “My kingdom is not of this world.” He didn’t come to make Rocky Flats into heaven. He came to light the way out of Rocky Flats, to drill to an escape route for you.
This is why Jesus spoke, time and again, of another Kingdom, another world and of “eternal life.” He said, “I go to prepare a place for you…and I will return, to take you there with me” (John 14). And “He who believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live.”
The government of Chile spent more than $20 million dollars attempting to retrieve those 33 miners. It spared no expense.
Does $20 million seem like a lot to spend on 33 people? Not if you love the people who need rescue, or especially if you love one of them deeply. In the same way, God so valued and so loved you, that He spared no expense to rescue you. God does not desire for anyone to die in the hopelessness of this contaminated world. (1 Tim. 2:4, Titus 2:11)
“For God so loved the world, that he gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16)