Last night when I was flipping through the channels I saw the horrific sight of the collapse of the I-35W Bridge over the Mississippi. My thought immediately went out to John Piper’s church, Bethlehem Baptist and Desiring God Ministries. As I recalled and Piper confirmed in his blog last night, the bridge is within sight of their church building. Piper posted a blog writing how he began to work through this devastating event with his family. Evidently, their family devotions last night came from Luke 13:1-5 which says:
There were some present at that very time who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And he answered them, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”
Piper as always with cross-centered focus communicated the following:
All of us have sinned against God, not just against man. This is an outrage ten thousand times worse than the collapse of the 35W bridge. That any human is breathing at this minute on this planet is sheer mercy from God. God makes the sun rise and the rain fall on those who do not treasure him above all else. He causes the heart to beat and the lungs to work for millions of people who deserve his wrath. This a view of reality that desperately needs to be taught in our churches, so that we are prepared for the calamities of the world.
The meaning of the collapse of this bridge is that John Piper is a sinner and should repent or forfeit his life forever. That means I should turn from the silly preoccupations of my life and focus my mind’s attention and my heart’s affection on God and embrace Jesus Christ as my only hope for the forgiveness of my sins and for the hope of eternal life. That is God’s message in the collapse of this bridge. That is his most merciful message: there is still time to turn from sin and unbelief and destruction for those of us who live. If we could see the eternal calamity from which he is offering escape we would hear this as the most precious message in the world.
I urge you to read his post, but also to pray for their church as they minister and for those touched by this devastation, that they would bow their knee before Almighty God and kiss the Son…