As I write this piece, severe weather has hit parts of the country necessitating amber and red warnings being issued. These warnings are a sign of the seriousness of the danger that the weather poses.
In particular, when the weather closes in on our mountains the danger to life is a very real threat. In a recent article, it was recorded that a skier suffered multiple injuries after falling 200m (656ft) through a cornice in whiteout conditions on Aonach Beag in Lochaber. Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team said it carried out its “most difficult and technical rescue” in the past year. This involved two members of Lochaber MRT and Nevis Range ski centre’s ski patrol being lowered to the man. Conditions during the rescue, which involved a total of 22 members of Lochaber MRT, were described as being “very challenging” with strong winds and limited visibility. Inverness Coastguard helicopter flew rescue team members and also equipment to the scene to help in what Lochaber MRT called an “exceptional effort” to save the skier.
Reading this, I was impressed with the amount of manpower and effort put into saving just one man who got into difficulties on that mountain. It also would have had major cost implications as well, given the number of personnel involved and the need to use the coastguard helicopter. We are so thankful for and indebted to our emergency services who do a sterling job.
It made me think of the greatest search and rescue mission in all human history where the Son of God came all the way from Glory to rescue sinners like us who have gotten ourselves into real difficulty and danger. Jesus singlehandedly, and at great cost to himself and to the Father, rescues us from danger and saves us from death by the cross of Calvary where after 3 long hours of darkness and agony he cries out ‘It is finished’ (Jn 19:30). There, the mission was accomplished. There, sinners were saved. There, we go to when we realise our danger of eternal death and cry out, ‘Lord, rescue me’. No MRT, no helicopters, no ski patrol; just Jesus to take us to safety forever.
Your friend and Pastor
Rev Colin MacLeod