A great burst of sorrow and grief flooded the hearts of thousands in the City of New Delhi that tragic Tuesday evening, November 12, 1996. The news was devastating: two planes had collided in mid-air, taking the lives of 349 people.
It was hard to imagine how it could have happened. A Saudi Boeing 747-100 passenger jet, leaving New Delhi’s airport accelerating to a speed of 500km/h, (approximately 300mph) clipped the wing of an arriving Kazaksta Airlines cargo plane. The impact sent the Saudi jumbo tumbling.
People, luggage, and debris hurtled to the ground below, crashing in a mass of tangled metal and burned bodies, leaving a hole over 9 feet deep.
The Hindustan Times said the Saudi airliner had been flying 800 feet higher than the air traffic controllers had directed, and the cargo plane was 200 feet lower than it should have been. This closed the 1000 foot vertical gap that the air traffic controllers imposed for safety. It could not be determined why they were off course, whether it was because of instrument problems, human error or even disregard for the controllers instructions. Whatever the cause, the results were disastrous for all who were aboard those planes.
Although most of us rarely worry about planes flying off course, we tend to forget that, as human beings, we have strayed from the course God intended for us. He reminds us in Isaiah 53:6 that we are all like sheep which have “gone astray and have turned everyone to his own way” God makes it unmistakably clear in His Word that we are on a wrong course. This began with Adam long ago when he chose to disobey God’s command. Thus our first father led the whole human family on a course away from God and ultimately to death and eternal ruin. The sad reality that faces us today is that untold millions have apparently decided to stay on that doomed and wayward course and continue to reject God’s way of bringing His straying creatures back to Himself.
Proverbs 14:12 clearly says, “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the ends thereof are the ways of death”. In contrast, the Lord Jesus said in John 14:6, “I am the way the truth and the life, no man cometh unto the Father but by Me”.
If you’re not saved, it is imperative for you to get on course, for very, very soon you will collide with death, and if you are still on your own wayward course, you will tragically end up in hell. How different is the result for those who have listened to the “Controller’s” instructions; they know the joy and peace of the way of God, and have the full assurance of a home in heaven.
The Lord Jesus said, “I am THE WAY, the Truth and the Life, no man cometh unto the Father, but by ME” (John 14:6).