86 years ago this month the Titanic went under the icy waves of the North Atlantic carrying 1522 persons to their deaths. The story of the ill-fated White Star Liner, is receiving massive new attention due to the success James Cameron's movie. With its 11 academy awards and the prospect of taking in more than $1.4 billion at the box office the movie has become an international sensation. If you don't believe me just ask any 11 year old girl you happen to know who Leonardo DiCaprio is, and you will find out! I have wondered why the story of the Titanic has such a hold on public attention? One of the reasons is we can imagine the horror of the doomed passengers on the ship. During the approximately three hours from the time of striking the iceberg until the ship went down most of the passengers and crew were painfully aware of their fate. It was apparent that the 20 lifeboats on the "unsinkable" ship were far too few to save all of those on board. Only 705 survived that night. During the evacuation there were many stories of heroism and a few of selfishness, there was band who courageously played on to keep up the spirits of all. But after the final lifeboat rowed away all that was left to do was to prepare for death.
How would you have spent that time if you had been on board the Titanic? Striving against hope that somehow there would be a way to escape as the main characters in the movie do? Would you make an attempt to maintain a brave face so others would not see your fear? Would there be expressions anger or regret? Tough questions but ones that pull us to what is genuinely important in life. At that moment, money, fame, or pleasure would be meaningless. Now, stand by for a shocker, you are on a sinking ship! All of us recognizee that life will one day be over whether in a monumental tragedy or by slipping away in the darkness of a quiet night.
There is another anniversary this month, one that offers good news for those who cannot escape the fate of life's termination. On Easter Sunday we will commemorate the resurrection of Jesus. 1968 year ago Jesus Christ claimed to offer the only solution to man's ultimate encounter with death. He said: "I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die (John 11:25-26)." He verified that he had power over death in His own resurrection. The empty tomb of Christ stands as a memorial to the broken bonds of death.
Have you entered into the provision of eternal life through faith in Christ? If not, don't delay, tomorrow may be too late. If you need help, seek out a friend that knows Christ. If you have entered into eternal life our lives should be occupied with things that really matter rather than the fleeting, temporary things. If your captain should issue the warning that your ship was sinking where would you stand, that's something worth thinking about.
Pastor, Calvary Baptist Church
©1998 Calvary Baptist Church
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