On July 17, 2014, Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was believed to have been attacked by a surface-to-air missile while it was flying at an altitude of about 10,000 meters (nearly 33,000 feet). All 283 passengers and 15 crew members on board were killed. Among them, nearly 80 were children, since many families were on their way to their summer vacation. What caused this horrific plane crash?

En route to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from Amsterdam, Netherlands, flight MH17 took the same route as usual. However, for some reason, other planes were taking a detour around the Ukraine sky. The reason was the “NOTAM.”

NOTAM (an abbreviation for ‘Notice to Airman’) is a notice filed with an aviation authority to alert aircraft pilots of potential hazards along a flight route or at a location that could affect the safety of the flight. The flight pilot must be well informed about the NOTAM before taking flight, so that they are able to recognize if a region is exercising a military drill, or specific air zones are dangerous due to conflicts. Upon receiving this notification, many airline pilots actually detoured around the whole Ukraine region because it was a dangerous route.

Since a detour leads to more fuel consumption, an increase in crew’s wages due to longer flight time, it will ultimately lead to a great loss for the airlines. However, this inconvenience is nothing compared to taking a dangerous route at the cost of the lives of passengers.

During our journey to heaven, we too must remember God’s NOTAM. Other routes may appear better in the eyes of others, but the safest and quickest route is still the one guided by God. This route, is the ‘way of life’.

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

John 14:6 

Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.

John 6:53-54 

So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them and prepared the Passover… While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.” Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.

Matthew 26:19-28 

The unfailing way of life that Jesus has taught us is to keep the Passover of the New Covenant. Besides the Passover, there is the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Pentecost, the Feast of Tabernacles, all of God’s feasts, the Sabbath, veil regulation, which were all the path that Jesus set examples for us to follow.

If we do not follow the path that God guides us on or the gospel that God has taught to us, we can never expect to reach salvation. Sunday worship, Christmas, Easter eggs, Thanksgiving Day, cross reverence, are all dangerous paths and different gospels.

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