Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Body Breaks The Sound Barrier

Just a few days ago, Felix Baumgarter of Austria was a pilot. But now he is a pilot with a world record and with a great and new distinction.

On October 14, Baumgarter jumped from a manned flight in Roswell, New Mexico. The 43-year-old Austrian said his pressurized space suit prevented him from experiencing the supersonic boom as he broke the sound barrier and accelerated through the sky at an amazing speed of 833.9 mph. He was an incredible 128,000 feet above Earth. That’s roughly 24.2 miles above sea level. The full journey, including the times using his parachute for the second half of the fall, lasted just over nine minutes.

"It is hard to describe, because I didn't feel it," Baumgartner told reporters after the jump. "When you're in a dead pressure suit you don't feel anything." But his feat made him the only man to achieve supersonic speed without a jet or space shuttle.

Coincidentally, 89-year-old Chuck Yeager also made his own repeat supersonic flight on Sunday. This time he rode in the back seat of an F-15 Eagle as it soared through the skies above the California Mojave Desert – the location he first achieved the feat of breaking the sound barrier back some 60 years ago.

It can hardly be imagined what it must feel like to be traveling nearly a thousand miles an hour using little more than one’s fragile and flawed human frame. Obviously, for some this would a nightmare come true as they might have major issues with even a small slow merry-go-round at the local county fair. But for others, like Baumgartner or Chuck Yeager, this type of thing must be the ultimate thrill and a feeling of sheer and unmatched excitement.

It is also probable that few, if any, will ever achieve such a feat and sensation as did this daring skydiving pilot. But interestingly, there are millions who will make a great trip some day but one at a far greater consequence and also by traveling the opposite direction – uphill!

This future travel event will not only infinitely surpass the recent daredevil stunt by this one man in terms of speed, but will be taken by a large group of individuals al at the same time. They will not even have the benefit during their sudden and spectacular trip of any external protective suit as the One in full control of their supernatural journey will have all things under His divine control.

1 Corinthians chapter fifteen lays out this coming flight plan. It is one where all legitimate reservations will be held only by those who have trusted in Jesus Christ as their Savior - the Captain of their soul and eternal destiny. Beginning in verse 51, the apostle records, “Behold, I tell you a mystery: we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed — in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.”

The word translated ‘moment’ above is from the Greek word ‘atomos’. Its root word means literally to be ‘uncut’, with the implication suggesting an indivisible amount of time or an ‘atom’ of time. In other words, this trip upwards will take place at a speed that will make Mr. Baumgartner’s fall look like a stroll in the park in comparison.

This same thing is seen in 1 Thessalonians 4. Paul writes, “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.”

Those now in possession of the sacred reservation for that soon coming supersonic journey to heaven can proceed through this life with a blessed hope. They alone can face the trials of life knowing that any and all hardships are but temporary, that have the help of the Holy Spirit, and that the Captain of their soul will safely complete their glorious journey to a place of eternal bliss, where they will praise Him and enjoy His presence forever.

Bill Breckenridge