Trapped In A Shark Tank

The world is a beautiful place full of wonderful things to see. It also is a terrifying place full of unexpected dangers. Visitors at the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas in New Orleans found out both how beautiful and terrifying it can be.

The main feature of this aquarium is a 400,000 gallon, twenty foot deep, shark tank. The water in the tank is as blue and clear as anywhere you might find in nature. Large glass panels provide guests with excellent views. The tank houses one of the world's largest and most diverse collections of sharks some up to ten feet long. A replica of an oilrig, covered with barnacles sits in the middle of the tank. Around this oilrig the sharks swim constantly.

On August 8, 2002, ten visitors had an experience they will never forget. The aquarium was running a special promotion. They were allowing guests to walk across a 38-foot long catwalk that extends over the open top of the tank. Six adults and four children were strolling on the catwalk watching the sleek and beautiful animals beneath when there was a loud snap and the catwalk broke in two plunging everyone on it into the shark tank

One moment the people on the catwalk were admiring the sharks and the next moment they were terrified. The world in which we live is not only beautiful but it is terrifying. Everywhere you look whether at an aquarium exhibit, or a newborn baby, or field of flowers, you see beauty, incredible beauty, because it is all the handiwork of God who is great in wisdom and power. But everywhere you look you also see evidence of a great fall. Sharks can be lethal, even babies die, and the flowers of the field fade. Because of this great fall unexpected and terrible things may happen. Because man has fallen into sin, death has entered the world and death is the 'king of terrors'. You can't escape it.

Evidence of it is all around us. Every community has its cemetery. God does not want us to be comfortable with the idea of death. He wants us to realize that 'the wages of sin is death,' and those wages are full of misery. He wants us to realize the trouble sin has brought us, so that we might look to him for answers.

To deliver us from all the misery sin has brought us, God sent the Lord Jesus Christ into this world. During his earthly ministry he did many miracles to help alleviate the suffering of the people. He even raised the dead. One time as he entered a town called 'Nain', he met a funeral procession. The name of the town means 'Beautiful.' It was probably named this for its lovely location. But even the people in the town called 'Beautiful' were subject to death. Pallbearers were carrying a young man, the only son of a widow, down the road. The widow's heart was broken with sorrow. When the Lord Jesus saw her, 'he was moved with compassion for her, and said to her, Weep not; and coming up he touched the bier, and the bearers stopped. And he said, Youth, I say to thee, Wake up. And the dead sat up and began to speak; and he gave him to his mother.' This same Lord Jesus who showed compassion to this widow and raised her son is ready to show compassion to you and save you from your sins. Sin has made each one of us subject to death and judgment. To make a way that the stain of sin can be removed from our heart, the Lord Jesus willingly died on the cross. The blood that was shed at the cross can wash the vilest sinner clean. Christ alone is the remedy for the misery of sin and death.

At first there was a great deal of splashing. After a short time in the tank the adults realized they could pass the children to bystanders. The glass walls of the tank extend three feet over the water level. The adults swimming with children in their arms were able to pass the small children out over this wall but were unable to escape that way themselves. They swam across the tank to the oilrig on which they could stand and hold their heads above the water. For fifteen minutes they stood watching the sharks swim around them. At last the aquarium workers extended an aluminum ladder out to the oilrig and the remaining adults were able to climb out to safety.

The people in the tank made it to safety. Won't you too make it to the safety of the Savior's side? 'Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.' You must believe on him if you ever hope to escape the consequences your sins deserve.

"For God so loved the world
that he gave his one and only Son,
that whoever believes in him
shall not perish but have eternal life.
John 3:16