The Dead Zone

“And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to death – even death on a cross.”  Philippians 2:8

Mount Everest is the highest mountain in the world. Its summit is 29,029 feet, or 5 miles above sea level.

Climbers have an interesting name for everything above 26,247 feet, “The Dead Zone.” In this Zone, oxygen is so limited that the body’s cells literally start to die. The climber’s judgment becomes impaired, and can experience heart attacks, strokes, or deadly altitude sickness. Even with air tanks, one climber said, “It can feel like running on a treadmill and breathing through a straw.”

Every climbing excursion depends on local guides called Sherpas who live in the Khumbu Valley below the mountain. After centuries of living at high altitudes, the Sherpa population of the Himalayas have adapted to survive in this harsh atmosphere. They are completely unaffected by the thin air in the “Dead Zone.” One climber said, “They’re like a fuel-efficient car – you get more energy for less oxygen.” And another climber described them as, “Superhuman.”

When I think of an experience like climbing Mount Everest, my mind can’t help but to think about humanity and our Savior.

When Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden, they instantly turned earth into a “Dead Zone” where now humanity is “dead in their trespasses and sin.”

This scene is played out in our lives as we try climbing the mountain of success, the mountain of popularity, the mountain of fortune, the mountain of fame, the mountain of politics and the mountain of power. On life’s climb, we carry all our baggage of lies, heartaches and hang ups that we’ve collected throughout our lives, and most of the time never make it to our desired destination, or if we do make it to the top of Mount Everest of life, too many times we are severely messed up because we have deprived ourselves of the oxygen of life – God’s truth!

God’s word is like oxygen to our mind and spirit! It’s what we deeply crave for when we are faced with the exhaustion and depletion that sin brings us.

Thank God that He gave us Jesus who is far better than an earthly Sherpa! As a Sherpa carries the climber’s baggage of supplies up Mount Everest, our Savior carried the sinner’s baggage of sin up Mount Calvary and shed His perfect, righteous blood on the cross, so that we could be “dead to this world” and “alive in Christ!”

Jesus overcame this earthly dead zone of pain and suffering so that we (not by works, but by faith) can enter His heavenly zone of joy and peace forever!

Think about this, the ultimate dead zone is hell, a real place without the love of God, but the greatest news ever given to us reads like this, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life!”

God loves you; He really does!

Pastor Dave


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