Note: This devotion “Going Through Hell” is a three-part devotion based on a sermon I preached at St. Matthew Lutheran in Hawthorn Woods on Palm Sunday 2018.
My First Idaho Adventure
In July of 2006, I experienced a little bit of hell – or at least it seemed that way to me.
I led a small group of men into the wilds of Idaho for some fishing, camping, and time with God our Father.
That summer was hot and dry in the Idaho panhandle. My friend, Clint, who lived there, guided us to our campsite on the bank of the North Fork of the Coeur d’Alene River. We drove about 19 miles up the road from the Lutheran camp where Clint is the director. We parked and locked the rental car on the side of the road at the trail head and began a three-mile hike inland.
It was in the mid 90’s and I was carrying about 60 pounds of supplies on my back. I didn’t have nearly enough water. It took us over two hours to hike to the camp sight and by the time we got there I was dehydrated. I pitched my tent, drank about a gallon of river water, and laid down for the rest of the afternoon.
That was my first thought when I read verse 11 of the Old Testament lesson for Palm Sunday:
As for you also, because of the blood of my covenant with you,
I will set your prisoners free from the waterless pit (Zechariah 9:11)
The “waterless pit” is, I believe, an Old Testament euphemism for “hell.”
Thankfully, that’s the closest I’ll ever come to experiencing hell because of the blood of Jesus – which is God’s covenant with us to set us free from sin, death, and the power of the devil.
Jesus Rides Into Jerusalem
That covenant was ratified by Christ, culminating with this last week of His earthly ministry.
Jesus rode into Jerusalem as the Messiah! The people of Jerusalem shouted “Hosanna” – “Lord, save us!”
And so Jesus would save them – and us – by dying on the cross and literally “going through hell” for us and so that we would not have to.
Heavenly Father, thank you for being with me, even when I go through hell in this life. But thank you most especially for my Savior Jesus, who went through hell for me so that I could live forever in heaven. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
© 2018 True Men Ministries