Decades ago, as a young college graduate, I accepted an internship in New York City. Unacquainted with potential dangers lurking in big cities, I unwittingly got cornered by a street gang wielding a switchblade. This crisis began when the gang grabbed my mother’s purse in a crowded public transit station and ran off. I naively chased them at a “safe distance” in hopes of retrieving any contents they might drop from her purse as they fled. It was not the wisest plan! Two blocks later I stared cautiously down a narrow, dead-end alley for any remnants from her purse. Without warning they jumped from the shadows and surrounded me. One of them pulled out a switchblade and headed straight at me with the blade extended. I had no defense and no route of escape. Time seemed to freeze. But at that instant, an NYPD patrol car screeched up to the alley and an officer jumped from the door. His sudden arrival put the gang to flight. They disappeared over dumpsters, up fire escapes, and through side doorways and windows. Amazingly, I was still standing and unharmed with only the police officer in sight!

Like many young people I never really considered the prospect of my own death. In fact, the reality of that near brush with death didn’t sink in until years later when I received Christ. Only then did I realize if not for God’s providential care, life might have ended in a pool of blood in a lonely alley. If not for that second chance at life, I would never have had the opportunity to receive Christ as my personal savior. I would never have become a father or known the joy of having grandchildren years later. I would not have had the privilege of eventually serving the Lord in ministry. Thinking back about my rescue that day, I can now see it figuratively as a “resurrection” – a new gift of life from the hand of God.

Over the years I’ve heard remarkable testimonies from others about second chances at life following a grave illness, serious accident, or other near brush with death. Such stories of temporal deliverance serve both as a witness to the providence of God as well as a foreshadowing of our coming resurrection unto eternal life. Our God is not only the giver of life, but also the redeemer of life and the power behind the coming resurrection unto eternal life. Resurrection is God’s sure and certain promise to every believer in Jesus Christ. His resurrection from a rock-cut grave near Jerusalem proves that God can fulfill that promise to every believer. To Him be the glory and the honor and the power, now and forever!

Dave Korinek

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