"God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." (II Corinthians 5:21)
World War II with its massive loss of life was still continuing in early 1946. Preparations were being made for the atomic test to be conducted in the waters of the South Pacific island of Bikini. A young scientist by the name of Louis Slotin was carrying out an experiment. He had successfully performed it many times before. But this day, just before leaving Los Alamos, New Mexico for another assignment, he had offered to run through it one more time.
The purpose of the experiment was to determine the amount of U-235 necessary for a chain reaction—scientist call it the critical mass. To accomplish this, he would push two hemispheres of uranium slowly toward each other. Then, just as the mass became critical, he would push them apart with his screwdriver, instantly stopping the chain reaction.
But that day, just as the material became critical, the screwdriver slipped! The hemispheres of uranium came too close together. Instantly, the room was filled with a dazzling bluish haze. Young Louis Slotin might have ducked away. He might have saved himself. But no. He interrupted the deadly chain reaction by tearing the two hemispheres apart with his bare hands!
By this instant, self-forgetful daring, he saved the lives of the seven other persons in the room. He realized at once that he himself would be bound to die from the effects of this atomic accident. But he did not lose control. Shouting to his colleagues to stand exactly where they were at the moment of the disaster, he drew on the blackboard an accurate sketch of their relative positions, so that doctors might discover the degree of radiation to which each one had been exposed
A little later, with Al Graves, the scientist who next to himself had been most severely exposed, he waited beside the road for a car to take them to the hospital. Sensing fully the fate that awaited him, he said quietly to his companion "You'll come through this all right. But I haven't the faintest chance myself." It was only too true. Nine days later, he died in terrible agony.
Twenty centuries ago, the Son of the living God walked directly into sin's most concentrated radiation. He allowed himself to become its curse and let it take his life. The accumulated guilt of all the ages released its contamination over Calvary. There he broke the chain reaction. There he broke the power of sin. There he absorbed the wrath of God against all of our sins! "God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God."