My family is addicted to watching Designated Survivor on Wednesday night after Bible study. Thomas Kirkman, the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, is kept in a secure location during the President’s State of the Union Address just in case a catastrophe hits the capitol building. Well, terrorists succeed in destroying the United States Capitol and Kirkman finds himself attempting to rebuild the United States government as the President of the United States.
No one can imagine the horror of having no political aspirations and suddenly finding yourself elevated to the Presidency at a time of national crisis unparalleled in our history. Kirkman finds himself attempting to reorganize the federal government, track down the responsible terrorists, comfort a nation, and support his family’s move to the White House all while trying to calm his quiet fears that he simply is not presidential material.
The Designated Survivor. The one who is scheduled to live if others die. The one upon whom great responsibility falls if others die. The one to whom others look if others die.
You and I are, in a very real sense, designated survivors. Jesus died; we live. Jesus died; great responsibility has fallen upon us. Jesus died; others look to us for comfort and hope.
Jesus died unjustly in an act of unspeakable horror. He died for our sins: “Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures” (1 Cor 15:3). Through Jesus’ death we have life: “Just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act [the cross] resulted in justification and life for all people” (Rom 5:18). The life Jesus brings is unlike any other life we could possibly know: “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10). Yes, you and are are survivors. We have an abundant life now and we anticipate an eternity of life with our Lord and our God.
We do have great responsibility because we are survivors. We were not designated to survive that we might live however we choose; we live that we might glorify God: “We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life” (Rom 6:4). You see, we have a new life. The old life of sin and death are gone. We rose from the waters of baptism to walk in a new life, a life which seeks to honor and glorify God. “ I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Gal 2:20). “For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised” (2 Cor 5:14-15).
Because we are survivors and because others are dying, we have the serious obligation of telling the dying where they might find life. “Through Christ [God] reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation” (2 Cor 5:18). “We are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God” (2 Cor 5:20). What more important work can we do than to tell dying men how to have life? If a physician knew how to help his patient live and he did nothing while the patient died, we’d demand justice. Can God do anything less when we stand by and watch others lose their eternal souls and the life He so freely offers?
Live your life as a designated survivor. Thank Jesus for the sacrifice he made to save you from death. Honor God by the way that you live. Tell dying men how that they, too, can live.