A Burning Issue

Reprinted from The Hutch News
The Lord’s ‘firefight’ is our hope
Friday, August 24, 2012 09:41:09 PM
By Andy Addis

Here’s an understatement: This was a hot summer.

You know you’ve endured some blistering days when you are thankful for 90-plus degrees. But the heat did more than take its toll on summer fun. The wildfires of 2012 will leave their mark for quite some time, not only on the land, but on our lives.

I was glued to the television watching the fires encroach on some of my favorite places to visit in Colorado, and more than once I prayed for the firefighters putting themselves in harm’s way.

Those are some amazing heroes, and I am in awe of the innumerable ways they can battle a fire. Long gone are the days of the singular hope put in a hydrant and a hose. Direct and indirect attack, venting, aerial drops, isolations are all in the arsenal of the modern firefighter. But my favorite is the back-burn.

It’s a technique that has been around for a long time. Basically, the firefighters will determine the movement and direction of the fire. Then, selecting an area in its path, they start their own fire.

It seems a little crazy, but the result is that this controlled fire consumes all the fuel and leaves nothing for the wildfire. When the out-of-control blaze gets to that spot, there’s nothing to burn.


I love this technique because it reminds me so much of what Jesus did for us. Sin is a curse upon every human being. God’s wrath is just and right, and we “sinners” deserve the full weight of it.

But Christ came not as just another man, but as the Son of God in the form of man. He died on the cross for us as a willing act of obedience to God and a gift of grace to us. He became a substitutionary sacrifice on our behalf, and when He did, He absorbed the full wrath of God, shielding us.

Basically, He “back-burned” an escape route for us.

Romans 5: 8-11: “God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by His blood, much more shall we be saved by Him from the wrath of God. For if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by His life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.”

When Jesus died for us on the cross, the fire of God’s wrath fell and consumed Him in our place. And the top of Calvary’s hill, scorched with the fire of God’s judgement, is now a safe place for us to stand.

Because of what He did, we can stand securely at the foot of the cross because there is nothing left to burn.

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