Thursday, April 14, 2011

What Am I Worth?

Jesus wasn’t just a kind, wise teacher who lived out a great example for us and left us some wonderful life lessons. His life was a rescue mission.

There are hundreds of great rescue stories (have you ever seen The Great Escape, starring Steve McQueen and James Garner? Go rent!), but one of my favorites is one you probably haven’t heard. In 1868, Queen Victoria authorized a rescue mission for 53 people, including some missionaries and a British consul, who had been held captive for four years by Emperor Theodore III of Ethiopia in a remote 9,000-foot-high bastion. The invasion force included 32,000 men, heavy artillery, and 44 elephants to carry the guns. Provisions included 50,000 tons of beef and pork and 30,000 gallons of rum. Engineers built landing piers, water treatment plants, a railroad, and telegraph line to the interior, plus many bridges. In terms of the money and logistics involved, military historians say this was an undertaking on the scale of the Normandy Invasion.

Surely old Theodore III thought he was safe and sound way down there in Ethiopia. He never figured Victoria would send a full-scale invasion just to rescue 53 people. Yet that’s just what she did. On paper, it certainly didn’t make sense for Jesus to invade this world, either. But that’s just what He did. This Sunday, we'll continue our study of the parables of Jesus with a look at Luke 11:21-22, a mysterious little parable that tells us quite a bit about why Jesus came...and how much we mean to Him.


Mona said...

I look forward to hearing the sermon Sunday. I don't remember ever hearing a sermon on that passage.
But about the Queen Victoria rescue story -- don't leave us hanging! How long did the rescue take? How many lives were lost? How many died along the way before ever reaching the prisoners? How much money per rescued person did Q. Victoria spend? Was Emperor Theodore III killed? Why is this story not in the history books? Or maybe I slept through history class the day it was discussed. Reckon anyone's government would spend so much for so few these days? I wonder how many actually thanked Q. Victoria for her efforts. My curiosity is piqued about this incident/battle. Guess I'll have to do a little research. Thanks for keeping us on our toes to learn more.
The depth of Christ's sacrifice and focus to rescue us (me!) is mind-boggling by comparison. And my record of giving Him thanks is abysmal to say the least. It's so easy to fall into taking every day for granted instead of seeing it for the gift it truly is. God help us all to see what Christ spent for our lives.
Thanks for the insight, Jeff.
Mona Follis

Jeff Berger said...

Sorry, Mona, but the only thing I know is that the British won the battle and all the captives came home safely. I found the story on a website and haven't done any other research on it. As to your question, "I wonder if anyone's government would spend so much for so few these days?" I suspect not!