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The Cross Still Stands
AT THE crash site of United Airlines Flight 93, I dare say the Pennsylvania State Police preached a truer Gospel than any other person on scene. After the crash they erected ...

THE CROSS STILL STANDS

Reverend Dean Kavouras, Chaplain

Cleveland Division Safety Forces Federal Bureau of Investigation

AT THE crash site of United Airlines Flight 93, I dare say the Pennsylvania State Police preached a truer Gospel than any other person on scene. After the crash they erected a 16-foot-high cross made of two sturdy 8' x 8' beams, and draped it with a white shroud. I was told that when one person objected, a trooper told him, “We’re in charge, and that’s how it is.” That cross still stands.

The cross is a reminder of the blackest, most unjust, and most tragic death in all of history, that of the innocent Son of God. It is also the reminder of humanity’s finest hour, for on that cross the price of all the sins and guilt and curse of all mankind—from Adam to the last person born—was paid. On that cross death and hell were conquered. In Christ, God opened His loving arms so “everyone who believes in him may have eternal life” (John 3:15).

We were told the “official service” could not include references to the Bible or Christianity. But in the shadow of those two pieces of wood, I preached the Word to a number of people. Many of the airline’s personnel were brought from the family site to the crash site to pay their respects. They looked at the memorial, the pictures, and the mementos. After they received an explanation of the work going on, I asked if they would like to join in a prayer. We began with the Twenty-Third Psalm in its entirety, along with 1 Peter 5:6–10. Together, all prayed The Lord’s Prayer.

One trooper was overtaken with grief. I talked with him and told him Christ died on a cross like the one before us. He paid the price for the sins of the world, and on Easter Sunday rose from the grave. I told him all who put their hope in Jesus will likewise rise to everlasting glory. No psychologist, politician, or financial wizard can make sense out of that, but there is no other hope and no other message in all the world that can save us. I quoted and explained John 11:25, 26, where Jesus says, “I am the resurrection and the life, he that believes in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live, and he that lives and believes in Me shall never die” (KJV). I explained the everlasting covenant of peace God has with all who believe in Jesus. While the flowery orations of the world may soothe people’s psyche for a few minutes, only the Word of God as found in Scripture can heal their souls and restore to them some modicum of peace. God help us in our foolishness!

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