Joseph Stowell III (pastor, author and former president of Moody Bible Institute) shares the following true story in his book, The Upside of Down.
Auguste Bartholdi traveled from France to Egypt in 1856. There the grandeur of the pyramids, the magnitude of the mighty Nile, and the beauty of the stately Sphinx of the desert stimulated his artistic mind.
While there, he met another visitor to Egypt, Ferdinand de Lesseps, who was there to sell an idea. To save merchant ships the long journey around the tip of the African continent, de Lesseps proposed cutting a canal from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean Sea.
De Lesseps’ concept inspired the artist Bartholdi. He decided to design a lighthouse to stand at the entrance to the canal – but no ordinary lighthouse. It would symbolize the light of Western civilization flowing to the East. Over the ten years it took to build the Suez Canal, Auguste worked on his idea, drawing plans and molding clay models. He scrapped plan after plan – until he found the right one, the perfect design.
Only one problem remained. Who would pay for it? He looked everywhere, but no one was interested. The Suez Canal finally opened – without a lighthouse. Defeated, Auguste returned to France, ten years of toil and effort wasted.
You would have liked his idea. His lighthouse would have been a colossal robed lady standing taller than the Sphinx. She held the book of justice in one hand and a torch lifted high in the other that would light the entrance to the canal.
Back in France, the French government sought his artistic services. They wanted to give a gift to America. They chose Bartholdi’s lighthouse, which now stands in New York harbor, and is called the Statue of Liberty.
What happens in the midst of disappointments can often be a prelude to good things beyond our imagination!
God is in the work of Redemption! He transforms what is meant for evil and turns it into something, not just good, but even better (Genesis 50:20). He transforms a broken sinner into a glorious saint. He transforms a hardened rebel and outcast into a beloved son and daughter.
The devil desires to steal, kill and destroy you but Jesus has come to give you Life, that you might have it more abundantly. Satan’s goal is to ruin and devastate you, to drag you down to a horrifying hell. Jesus has come to transform you into a new creation in Him, a child of God with heaven as your destiny.
The most beautiful picture of Redemption is the Cross. Satan was certain the cross would finish Jesus and destroy His plan of redemption. The Cross was the very picture of failure and defeat. The grave would signal the end of Christ’s rule, the end of His plan of salvation and rule over mankind.
But God turned that hideous cross into a beautiful image of Forgiveness. The empty cross and the empty tomb demonstrate Christ’s resurrection power over death, hell and the grave. Instead of the cross signaling the end of Christ’s rule, it proved to be the end of Satan’s rule. Jesus rose triumphant from death & we have been redeemed!
This Sunday, April 25, we will continue our new teaching series, “A New You!”, in the 10:35am worship service. This week’s wonderful truth? You are Redeemed and Forgiven! We had a marvelous service last Sunday so please join me for this powerful series and invite someone to share it with you.
If you are not able to join us in person in the building at 10:35am for worship, please join us Online for the Live broadcast on Facebook (Search: Honolulu AG). It will be uploaded later that day to our website (honoluluag.org) and YouTube channel (Search: Honolulu Assembly of God).
Aloha and Aloha ke Akua!