From time to time, God uses events to give us little glimpses of the truth of salvation. I had one such moment today when I was procrastinating a research paper and reading interesting articles. I happened across a video of an event that was remarkable enough in and of itself. A boat tragically sank off the coast of Nigeria and all 12 crew members were presumed dead. Three days later, a team of divers made it to the bottom of the ocean to recover what bodies they could. What they found was unbelievable: A man survived. Harrison Okene, the ship’s cook, had been trapped in a small air bubble and miraculously survived for 60 hours on the bottom of the ocean.
Watch this video of Okene’s rescue to understand the rest of my post. http://sploid.gizmodo.com/the-dramatic-rescue-of-a-survivor-trapped-three-days-in-1474934415 scroll down to halfway through the article to see the video. A word of warning: there is some salty language; the divers are not expecting anything to be moving.
I found the images of Okene’s rescue to be a compelling representation of our salvation. The man’s face when he is discovered is a priceless representation of the sheer shock of realizing that the death he is trapped in may not be the end. The man had been living for 60 hours with the understanding that he was dead. He was going to drown, asphyxiate, or starve and he knew it. But then he saw the light of the diver’s flashlight.
After his discovery, however, Okene is led through a complicated series of maneuvers that he doesn’t always understand, but he trusts in the voice guiding him and keeping him safe and calm. The expressions on his face as he is led from certain death into life and delivered from the bottom of the ocean tell the story of a sinner saved from sin and death.
I felt solidarity with Okene because I know the feeling of doom and the mysterious wonderful joy of impossible rescue! The faith that Okene follows his rescuers with is also something I can identify with as a Christian! The joy in knowing that he has been delivered! The fear of the unknown, but the joy in leaving it behind! The overwhelming nature of deliverance!
I was dead in my sin. I was drowned. I was trapped in the shipwreck of my own iniquity. But impossibly Christ saved me. How great is our God and our joy in the Gospel! How great is God’s salvation! This is why Okene’s story gripped me so strongly. Praise God.
You can read more about the story here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/12/harrison-okene-nigeria-shipwreck-air-bubble_n_3428202.html
To read Okone’s own words, read this article: