Do You Have a Parachute?

In Sunday School this morning, the teacher shared a story/illustration that he’d heard another preacher use comparing Jesus to a parachute.

The way he told it was like this:

There are two men going on an airplane and you offer one of them a parachute telling him that if he takes it, it will make the ride easier. He might take it so as to be sure of a smoother ride, and be glad to have it and be comforted some by the parachute. You then offer the other man a parachute, telling him the same thing, but he politely declines. You then share with him that the plane might crash. This man will likely take it and be all the more grateful for it. He’ll probably be hanging onto that parachute pretty tight, making sure it stays right with him. And boy oh boy won’t he be glad to have it if the plane DOES crash!

He likened this to Jesus and the gospel message today. A lot of people try to share the gospel with others by telling people that if they accept Jesus into their lives, their lives will be smoother.  More comfortable. Good things will happen for you. That’s fine to say, because a lot of people can and will be won to Christ this way. The lure of a better life is a good one. And their lives WILL be better for having Jesus in it, but God doesn’t guarantee us a smooth ride with no bumpy patches. He does promise to never leave us nor forsake us, though. Accepting Jesus as your saviour is the most important decision, the BEST decision, you can make in your life.

Sometimes, though, people just aren’t persuaded by the lure of a better life. Maybe they just can’t believe it could possibly be. Or maybe they are perfectly content where they are. Those people are like the second man who was told the plane might crash. Until they are shown that there is a NEED for Jesus -the parachute-, they’re just not interested.

This is where I think the story or illustration could go a little deeper. In the plane story, the second man was offered a parachute because the plane MIGHT crash, and then he eagerly took it. In the story the man took the parachute based on a potential need, because of a possible bad outcome in the future.

I think we could take it further and say that the plane WILL crash. If the parachute represents Jesus and the plane life… then it’s a guaranteed crash! Why? Because we will all die someday. The plane WILL crash. The question is do you want to survive the crash or not.

Without Jesus each and every one of us is guaranteed not only to crash, but to burn in hell forever more. We are all sinners, each and every one of us, and the wages of sin is death. Blood has to be shed to pay for our sins. Sin can’t go to Heaven and so each of us is doomed to go to hell when we die (crash). EXCEPT!! =) God loves us so much that He gave His only begotten Son. Our parachute! Jesus died on the cross to pay for OUR sins. He died and then rose again so that we wouldn’t have to go to hell.

I think it would be just as accurate if in the story the second man was told, “The plane will crash at some point. It might fly steady on for another 12 hours, 2 weeks, or even 50 or 6o years, but at some point IT. WILL. CRASH. If you take the parachute, when the plane crashes you be spared. Be sure- there WILL be patches of turbulence, some more severe than others, but as long as you have your parachute YOU. WILL. SURVIVE. The parachute will guide you so you don’t get lost in the wrong jet streams. It will protect you from the weather extremes. It will shield you from the penetrating rays of the sun. It will hold you close and comfort you when you are weary or scared, which you will be at some points in the flight.”

Please, do consider taking hold of your own parachute. Accept the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour today. None of us know when the plane is going to crash, but crash it will and when it does the only thing that’s going to save you from the inferno is your parachute- Jesus.

Ya know, I’m thinkin the first man might enjoy his parachute, but chances are the second man enjoys it even more. Just a guess. ;-)

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