What I Learned in Child CPR Class


Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them. – Hebrews 7:25

This verse in Hebrews unpacks a doctrinal cause and effect. Christ is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God. Why? Because he always lives to make intercession for them. I can know that my salvation is secure because Jesus is always engaged in the work of preserving me, living to intercede on my behalf.

I saw this verse in a new light this week.

Our 5-year-old son had heart surgery last week. Watching him go through that surgery and recovery has been an inspiring experience, and also a pretty painful one. Seeing someone you love so vulnerable, so fragile, so scarred, so wounded, and for those first few days, so distant, is hard for anyone. 

As he’s progressed, his medical team at the hospital has been following a series protocols and measuring certain benchmarks that will trigger his release and send him home. One of the necessary requirements for his recovery process is child CPR training for us, his parents. So yesterday, my wife and I sat in a two-person class where we learned how to perform CPR use an AED on a child. I’ve taken CPR courses before—a long time ago—but this one was different. Though what we learned could be useful in a host of situations, Lisa and I were taking the class for specifically for our son. Part of his care protocol is that the adults in his home would know life-sustaining techniques to intervene on his behalf, should the need arise. In other words, we live to intercede for him. 

The analogy to Christ isn’t perfect (no analogy is), but there’s a lot of Gospel truth wrapped up in Lisa and I taking that class for our boy. His well-being requires the work, investment, and presence of another. For his frailties, we are called upon to be strong. For his helpless, we are called upon to know what to do. For his inabilities, we are called upon to give what is needed. For him to be well enough to go home, we need to prepare a place for him. We need to receive to the uttermost this little boy who draws near every night asking for three stories, a song, a prayer, a hug, a kiss, and two high fives.

If the desire I feel to intercede for that kid is only a hint of Christ’s devotion to me—he whose love and law is perfect, reviving the soul—what possible limit  or weakness could there be to his grace?

Russ Ramsey
Russ is a pastor and author living in Nashville, Tennessee. His books include Struck: One Christian's Reflections on Encountering Death (IVP, 2017), and the Retelling the Story Series, featuring The Advent of the Lamb of God (IVP, 2018). His personal mission is to communicate the truths of Scripture in accessible ways to people in process. Follow Russ on Facebook / Twitter / Instagram.

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