September 11, 2021

Subject: 20th Anniversary of 9/11: Our Fire Fighters – Honor & Glory to God through Personal Sacrifice

Isaiah 50:7b “I have set My face like a flint, and I know I will not be ashamed.”

“’Ready, set, go!’ We ran to the front door of the World Trade Center, and in front of that door were 2 badly burned people who had been in the elevators when the plane hit. The jet fuel and the vapors had gone down the elevator shafts and ignited these people. So, I was faced with my first decision: Do I stop and help those 2 people, or do I go upstairs and help 100 people? I saw paramedics approach, so I went inside.

As I waited online to get my orders, we heard another loud explosion. I looked out the window, and I saw flaming pieces falling to the ground. A man came running outside and said, ‘A plane just hit the South Tower!” Once the second plane hit, we knew this wasn’t a mistake. The first one might have been a horrible accident, the second one, not. We heard a loud roar outside. Our building started to shake violently and the lights went out. The South Tower had just collapsed in that moment, right next to us. I had 5 firemen attached to me. We started climbing. Each tower had 99 elevators, but only 3 stairways.

One fireman looked at us and said, ‘We may not make it out of this.’ We turned to each other, shook each other’s hands, and thanked each other for what we were about to do. I was the only one who made it out.”

NYFD Deputy Chief Jay Jonas shared his story on National Geographic’s “9/11: One Day in America”. What compelled so many like Jay to such selfless, sacrificial acts on 9/11 for the sole purpose of saving others he doesn’t even know? It’s Jesus Christ, who is not only our model but has put a conscience within all of us to care for others without regard for our own welfare. This is the essence of this week’s verse.

The 50th chapter of the book of Isaiah, written in 730BC, describes how Jesus Christ will behave when He arrives on the scene: “The Lord God has opened My ear, and I was not rebellious, nor did I turn away. I gave My back to those who struck Me, and My cheeks to those who plucked out the beard. I did not hide My face from shame and spitting. For the Lord God will help Me, therefore I will not be disgraced.

I have set My face like a flint, and I know I will not be ashamed. He is near who justifies Me; who will contend with Me? Who is My adversary? Surely the Lord God will help Me. Who is he who will condemn Me? Indeed, they will grow old like a garment; the moth will eat them up” (Isaiah 50:5-9).

The firefighters are a picture of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. As Jesus “set His face like a flint” to go to the Cross for our salvation, these firefighters “set their face like flints” to save people from the collapsing towers. And, like Jesus Christ, our heavenly Father will never be ashamed by their self-sacrifice.

Ed Croteau is a resident of Lee’s Summit and hosts a weekly study in Lees Summit called “Faith: Substance and Evidence.” He can be reached with your questions through the Lee’s Summit Tribune at