The Day I Died (NKJV)
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- Format: Folded Tract
- Paper: Gloss Text
- Size: 3.5 inches x 5.5 inches
- Pages: 4
- Version: NKJV
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The full text of this tract is shown below in the NKJV version. (Do you want to print this tract in a different version than the one listed? Contact us and let us know what you're looking for—we may be able to create the alternate version for you at no charge.)
…was like any other beautiful day in Petoskey, Michigan. A week after graduating from high school I went swimming in Crooked Lake with my friend. I was not much of a swimmer. I’d been told the water was shallow, so I thrashed my way out to the swimming raft, but when I stood up near the platform there was no bottom. My friend tried to pull me out, but he had a heart murmur, and barely made it back to the platform. The last thing I remember was standing on the bottom of the lake, pushing off, taking a deep breath at the top of my jump—then realizing I was several feet short of reaching the air. I’d taken a big breath of water.
Another friend commandeered a rowboat and began diving. 20 minutes later, exhausted, as he looked for me the last time he saw my foot in the weeds. By now I was 100 yards from the raft in only 5 feet of water. Back at the dock I looked bad; my skin was blue, my eyes were blank, and I’d had no heartbeat for many minutes. When he put his arms around my chest and gave one massive squeeze, though, the water left my lungs, and my heart began beating again.
You know how some people see tunnels and lights when they die? All I saw was darkness as I rode a rollercoaster of pain. Hours later in the hospital I tried to go back to that place of pain to see if I could, and I did. I have not tried it again. What do you make of that?
As dead and as helpless as I was in that lake, we are all just as dead in our sins unless God helps us. “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
The cross was the greatest act of friendship this world has ever known, because on it Jesus the Son of God dove right in and joined us in all the pain, fear, shame, and agony we endure in our lives. “Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows … but He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities … and by His stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:4-5).
When the Father raised Jesus from the dead, He raised all Jesus’ friends too. “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ … and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:4-6).
But what does God ask of us? What does He want us to do, that we all may be raised from the deadness of sin?
“Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out” (Acts 3:18-19).
“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31).
“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:8-9).
On June 18, 2012 I celebrated the 40th anniversary of the day I was rescued from a watery grave. I’ve never forgotten the guys who rescued me at risk to their own lives, not giving up until I was safe on shore. Thanks, Vern and Mike. I owe my wife, my 5 children, and my 6 grandchildren to you guys.
I’ve also never forgotten the Savior who joined me in death to pull me out and give me a new life. Today I relish reading in the Bible about His daring rescue of me. I enjoy this life that He saved me for. When I left that dock, it was only the beginning. And once God raises us to new life in Christ, it’s only the beginning for us. — Casey Smith