[The Father] has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. ~ Colossians 1:13-14
In 1979, a man by the name of Tony Mendez came up with a rescue plan so risky and far-fetched that, even now, it sounds like fiction. It’s not fiction, however. It’s all true.
Here’s what happened. When the American embassy in Tehran fell to an angry mob and the Iranian Hostage Crisis began, six Americans from the embassy managed to escape and hide in a couple of nearby homes. Tony Mendez worked for the US Government, and through his intelligence contacts he knew where those Americans were hiding.
He was determined to get them out, and this is what he did. He and his team posed as eccentric filmmakers who wanted to make a science fiction movie on location in Iran. As they did so, he quietly established contact with the six Americans. His plan was to make them part of his eccentric film crew. He gave them new names, along with new passports, new credentials, new backgrounds—everything they would need to walk their way past all the security checkpoints. It worked. Thanks to Tony Mendez, those six Americans proceeded right to the airport, got on a plane, and flew home to freedom—all within plain sight of hostile people. The details of their unlikely rescue did not become public knowledge for 17 years.
As strange as that true story is, you and I are part of a rescue story that’s even more unlikely. But ours is true as well. Your sin and mine had cut us off from the goodness of God. As a result, you and I were hostages in a dominion of darkness as God’s Word describes it. And left to ourselves, that’s where we would have remained—trapped, condemned, cursed by our own rebellion against God.
But God was determined to get us out, and this is what he did. He became one of us. He became one of us in the Person of Jesus Christ. On our behalf he lived the sinless life he wants us to live. In our place he endured the punishment and death we deserved for our sin. Then, through faith in our risen Savior, you and I received full forgiveness, new identities, and freedom. And the old dominion of darkness can touch us no more.
That’s a rescue story worth remembering.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, you did the unthinkable in order to secure my rescue. Now I am forgiven. Now I am yours. Now I am free. Amen.