Like most of you, I was stunned and saddened by the news of the ill-fated landing of Asiana Airlines flight #214 at SFO recently. The horrific images of people running from a torn burning fuselage and of a debris-littered runway reminded me of the unpredictability real life offers each of us. As my congregation and I pray for the family of the two victims and the healing of the survivors, the investigation of the cause of the crash continues. Of unanimous initial agreement, from flight data and video, is the fact that the lumbering wide-body fell short and was unable to avoid disaster.
The idea of ‘falling short’ is one we can all personally relate to as humans, isn’t it?
Like me, maybe sometimes you feel like you’re falling short of the expectations, real or imagined, of others. Perhaps you continuously fall short of personal goals and experience the disillusionment and discouragement that follows. All of us can rewind the tapes of our lives and pinpoint those regrettable seasons and events in which we deviated from the proverbial flight path we knew was best for us.
Do you ever feel like you’re falling short somehow?
If so, you’re in good company.
Speaking of falling short…
The Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 3:23 that ‘all (of us) have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God’. That means that whether we feel like we’ve fallen short in life or not, God’s perfect Word assures us that we have! So what does it mean that every member of the human family has fallen short of God’s glory?
The Bible tells us that God’s glory is the sum impression of all that He is. This includes especially the sublimity of His elevated position and His pure and moral perfection or holiness. Scripture also makes it emphatically clear that sin (lawlessness or transgression of God’s will) shuts down our proverbial engines, reduces our air speed, and makes it absolutely impossible to mirror His holy character or even have fellowship with Him. Stated simply, sin separates us from God. Sin makes each of us come up short and crash.
Here’s where God’s scandalous and incomparable love and grace come in.
By placing our personal trust and faith in the perfect redemptive sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross, we are justified freely before God. What’s justified mean? Jesus makes us right with God! We are made right with God not based on our righteousness (God’s standard for a holy life), but on Christ’s righteousness. This is why the Gospel is good news! Through Christ alone (John 14:6) we don’t get what our sinfulness deserves; but instead, we get what we need - forgiveness.
Friends, let’s face it. We’ve all fallen short. We continue to fall short. It’s the human condition in a sin-fractured world. It’s real life. However, through Jesus Christ we can overcome the guilt and shame of our crashes, and experience the immeasurable joy and freedom of a saving, rewarding and eternal relationship with our Creator.
In an unpredictable world, only through Christ are we assured a safe landing!