A Plane beyond Control

On 10 March, an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 Max crashed, killing all 157 onboard. This crash followed the crash of Lion Air, also a Boeing 737 Max plane, which killed 189 people onboard. The BBC website reads,

The Wall Street Journal, citing unnamed sources, said early findings about the cause of the crash were pointing to the computer system, designed to make the handling of aircraft more consistent and lessen the risk of a stall. Boeing grounded its entire global fleet of 737 Max aircraft earlier this month after two fatal crashes in five months.

What is alarming is that the Ethiopian crash happened despite almost ideal conditions surrounding the crash: a pilot with a commendable performance of 8000 flying hours who made a quick decision to return to the airport after encountering problems; a new plane (4-months old) manufactured by the world-renowned Boeing; good weather and clear visibility. It was almost as if passengers aboard the plane were fastened to death the moment they stepped into the beautiful and new plane. This horrible incident underscores a fact: an airplane may have the best hardware but if the software, the “heart,” is faulty, the plane is faulty and dangerous.

The same principle applies to a human being: you may be very healthy and good looking. You may be rich and all that surrounds you is perfect. If, however, your heart is faulty, you are faulty and dangerous, and may be heading for destruction the moment you start life. Just as a plane is controlled by its computer software, a human being is controlled by the heart, that is, your unseen human nature or character. You must ensure your human nature which controls your thinking, words, and actions are healthy.

But the problem is that the Bible says in Jer 17:9 that “the heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” In you is a sinful human nature that is “beyond cure.” This means that moral education, punishment, all kinds of religious disciplines, human love, or words of wisdom will not repair your sinful human nature. If you do not seriously do something about your human heart and allow it to guide you, you will be destroyed. You need to do two things.

First, you must put to death that sinful human life and replace it with a good one. Believe in and accept Jesus as your Saviour today. Then a spiritual reality will happen: your old sinful life will be crucified at the cross together with Jesus. That old sinful life will no longer control you. Jesus will then give you a new life which is his eternal, holy, and resurrection life. This new life, or new computer software, will steer you to walk in ways that are safe and blessed.

Second, after you believe in Jesus, the old life in you will no longer control you. More precisely, this old life is no longer the lord of your life. A new master or lord now controls you: Jesus and the life of Jesus. However, if you are not careful, this old sinful life, although defeated and no longer the ruler or government, can still attack you if you are not vigilant. He works much like a terrorist who fights against the ruling government using cunning ways. Hence, you need to keep close to and be guided by Jesus so that you will not be misled by your defeated but still breathing sinful nature. Be faithful in attending worship service, reading your Bible, praying, and be active in church activities. If you do not continually put to death your sinful nature and allow it to guide you, you will be destroyed. But if you put continually put to death the sinful nature and depend on your Saviour to live life, you will live: “A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please the flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life” (Gal 6:7-8).