Two Rescued From Icy Lake

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"Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through him!"—Romans 5:9

The Holland Sentinel newspaper of Friday, February 13, 1987 carried the headline: "Two Rescued From Icy Lake." Brent Rasmussen, 21, and David Bast, 20, students at Hope College were walking on the icebergs on Lake Michigan. A piece of an iceberg broke loose and they fell into the frigid water over their heads. At the point where they fell in, the icebergs were eight or ten feet high. Waves were beating them against the broken lip of the ice after they fell through.

A passerby on the pier saw it happen and called for help. Point West was a nearby restaurant. Employees and patrons made several unsuccessful attempts at pulling them out of the water using a dog leash, a trench coat belt and an extension cord. "The worst time was when the orange extension cord snapped," said Bast who later indicated that he fell back into the water twice while Rasmussen fell back once. "I never thought I'd be able to get out. I did not have much willpower left. I thought I was going to die." I said, "I'm ready. Take me."

"I remember chunks of ice hitting me on the back of my head," Rasmussen recalled later. Bast later said, "I thought I was history. I was in a state of shock. I wasn't thinking clearly out there." After spending 15 to 20 minutes in the water, the pair was pulled to safety by an extension cord and nylon line. Both men sustained hand and facial cuts after repeatedly being pounded into a wall of ice.

What a dramatic rescue! Dave and Brent were dependent on others to pull them out of the water. Just so, you and I are helpless to pull ourselves out of the grip of sin. Help needs to come from outside of ourselves. Constrained only by a love that cannot be described, Jesus left the glories of heaven, took on our human nature and is saving us from both sin and death by his finished work of offering to the Father a perfect life and an atoning death in our place. These he offers to us as a gift.

Thousand, thousand thanks to you, dear Jesus!

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