Had anyone forecasted a shipwreck as the Costa Concordia cruise ship left its port near Rome? Not likely. The 4229 people on board the 300 meter high skyscraper-like luxury liner clearly were on-board for a safe and an enjoyable trip. 3000 of them were pleasure-seekers on-board for nothing more than relaxation, enjoyment and simply delicious food and lots of it. They looked forward to stopping in Savona, Italy near the French border and then Marseille and Barcelona before returning to home port.
Whatever Captain Francesco Schettino, 52, was thinking and doing – we can’t be sure. But at precisely 9:42pm, Friday, January 13th, the 114,500-ton cruise ship slammed into the rocks off Giglio. With an enormous gash in its hull, the ship quickly began to list and sink. (1)
The head of Costa Cruises placed the blame for the wreck squarely on the captain, saying it was his choice to deviate from frequently traveled routes. (2)
The images of the luxury cruise ship lying horizontally on its side and partially
submerged is disturbing to put it mildly. Even the images from space capture the colossal failure and disaster. Vacations were wrecked. Passengers were traumatized. Nightmares will persist long after the news becomes old. Worse still is the fact that precious lives were lost because of apparent gross human error. And one man, for untold years will feel the heavy weight of having caused such a disaster and his country, Italy, feels the shame. (3)
Have you ever thought of this world as one big cruise ship that slammed into a massive rock somewhere along the way? Look around. Rivers of tears. Broken hearts and homes. Wasted lives. Starving people. Disease and pain. Crooks, scoundrels and scandals. Empty dreams and mundane living. Lostness and boredom. Hospitals, jails, nursing homes and treatment centers. Abuse, anger and aggression. More examples of misery than we can count.
Whatever happened to this beautiful world? What was supposed to be a life of pleasure, joy and deepest fulfillment in a perfect environment is anything but that! Just the extreme opposite, in fact.
A colossal disaster did occur early on, just after the ship set sail. With Captain Adam at the helm of the human race, he made a critical choice. Whether or not he understood the consequences of his one choice we know not. But he chose to deviate from the God-planned route for the journey of the human race. Yes, Captain Adam slammed the ship into the rocks of sin when he, the first created human, rebelled against the Creator God in the Garden of Eden, resulting in enormous damage still felt everywhere and in all of us to this very day.
God lays the blame for the spiritual and moral human disaster squarely on Captain Adam. The Bible puts it this way:
“Therefore…sin came into the world
through one man,
and death through sin,
and so death spread to all men because all sinned…”
If the owners of the Costa Concordia feel pain when they view the satellite images of their ship wrecked on rocks it should never have hit, what must God’s view be like from Heaven as He looks at our messed-up world today? God could have designed a robot for a captain but He didn’t. Captain Adam, as the father of the human race, was dignified with the God-given ability to make choices. You have that ability too. He chose to rebel against God and take his own course, rather than God’s route and the rest is history and a very dark history it is! That is the story of the first three chapters of Genesis in the Bible.
Most (tragically, not all) on board the Costa Concordia had the option, after the disaster occurred, of scrambling into lifeboats. It would have been foolish to drown out the noise by turning up the music. Bizarre to waste time tidying up the dining halls or even trying to use duct tape to keep the water out. The ship was doomed. Get off!! If anyone ignored the obvious realities and lingered behind in the posh dining halls, decked in their dinner jackets and continued to sip their wine – that would be their choice. If some chose their dinner jackets (4) over the life jackets – that would be their choice. If others preferred their sinking luxury boat over the rescue lifeboats – that too would be their individual choice. If they made the wrong choice and perished, they would never be able to blame Captain Francesco Schettino.
Yes, Captain Adam will forever bear the blame for the shipwreck occurring in the first place. But the 7 billion passengers on board today have their own choice to make. Go down with the ship and perish in a place of conscious eternal suffering – or climb into the rescue boat that has been so graciously and generously provided for all (every single person) by God. If you go down with the ship you will never be able to blame Captain Adam. You have a clear cut choice to make.
Read the best known verse in the Bible with additional notations. Read it three times and see the word RESCUE written all over it. Do you see anything in this verse that gives you a choice? Are the two options obvious to you? In the verse below, what is required if you are going to make it to Port Heaven?
God so loved the world – so shipwrecked and devastated by sin, that He willingly gave His One and only Son Jesus Christ to pay for our sins by dying on the Cross, in order to rescue perishing sinners; that whoever (no matter who the person is or what the person has done) believes on Him, that is receives, accepts or trusts Christ as their personal Saviour, should not perish in Hell, but have eternal life – right now in this life andforever in Heaven.John 3:16
See if you can detect God’s rescue option for you in these selected Bible verses. “Christ Jesus came into the world to SAVE sinners.” 1Timothy 1:15. “When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners.” Romans 5:6. Jesus said: “Come to Me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28. Jesus said: “The one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out.” John 6:37.
God has dignified you with the ability to make the choice. He has clearly provided the way of escape for you. You must bear the responsibility for the choice you make as captain of your own eternal destiny.
5. Satellite Picture: http://www.space.com/14273-satellite-photo-costa-concordia-cruise-shipwreck.html