by DanWolgemuth on October 9, 2015

Moviegoers flocked to theaters to watch the movie, The Martian, on the opening weekend of the show. Thousands and thousands came… spending millions and millions.

The film is riveting and the production is compelling… but the story is two thousand years old.

In short, the fictional story tells of an astronaut, presumed dead, left on the planet Mars. As those on earth become aware of his plight, nations unite, politics fade, courage is birthed… in an effort to rescue.

Crowds crammed into auditoriums and critics raved.

The fact is, Hollywood loves what Jesus has already done.

“What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing.” (Luke 15:4-5)

Last weekend I met a young woman named Destinee. She was an attendee at our Central States Regional Conference; but she was so much more than that. She was a rescued lamb on the shoulders of the Good Shepherd. She was left for dead on Mars.

Nineteen foster families, two teen pregnancies, abuse, poverty, exploitation and abandonment; Destinee felt isolated and alone. She was suffocating under the weight of sin, and she was starving for love.

Fortunately for all of us, God leaves the ninety-nine in the open country and goes after the one. Destinee. Me. You.

Hollywood will never footnote The Martian with a credit to Luke 15, but I know why my soul surged at this story. I know why my heart ached for this rescue.

This is the Gospel. Destinee represents what Jesus pointed us to… Her worth is tied to the Shepherd’s resolve. He will pursue. He does pursue. He did pursue.

Until Destinee knew that she was loved. Until Destinee felt the tangible arms of Jesus through those who follow Christ. Until Destinee felt celebrated and safe.

$54,308,575 because we all want to be rescued. Because we all want to be valued that much by the Shepherd. Because there’s a bit of Destinee’s story in all of us.

Jesus; our rescuing Savior. Our hero. Our friend.

Churches unite. Politics fade. Courage is birthed… because there is a lamb that needs a shepherd.

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