Faith Floats

Our summer is gone. School has resumed. But, the principles we learned in our Backyard Science Club this summer remain true. For our 4th lesson we learned about Archimedes’ Buoyancy Principle.

Archimedes was an ancient Greek scholar who was given the task of measuring the King’s gold crown. While thinking about how to complete this task, Archimedes lowered himself into a bath and noted the water displacement. He also realized that a specific amount of water would be displaced in relation to an item’s weight. Archimedes then allegedly yelled out “Eureka!” and ran naked through the city of Syracuse, because of the great importance of this discovery.

According to Archimedes’ buoyancy principle, the force acting on, or buoying, an object equals the weight of the liquid that the object moved out of the way.

In simple terms: an object placed into water will lose as much weight as the weight of the displaced liquid. This is known as buoyancy, and is why you feel so much lighter in a pool than on dry land!

This seems a little like magic to me. Not only does the water hold you up and move out of the way but your weight actually changes as well! Eureka indeed!

This principle is essential to calculating the density of an object.

The simplest way to understand density is to compare two objects of the same size but different weights.

For example a ping pong ball and a golf ball are relatively the same size. But they have very different weights and therefore different densities. The golf ball has a higher density and will sink in a bowl of water, but the ping pong ball with a lower density will float.

Amazingly this is true even for very large objects. Did you know that if there was an ocean large enough in our universe that the planet Saturn would float? It has a very low density. Now our Earth on the other hand is made of rocks and metal and would assuredly sink in this vast hypothetical ocean.

In Matthew 14:22-33 we can read the story of Jesus walking on the water. Not only does Jesus defy the rules of his earthly body’s density but He allows Peter to join him on the water and do so as well. When Peter’s fear and doubts cause him to sink Jesus saves him. They climb into the boat and the storm calms. The disciples then worship Him for He is obviously “The Son of God”.

We know from our buoyancy lesson above that only something supernatural allowed this event to take place. Because Jesus was all man and all God He can do what we cannot. The great thing about this story is that it reassures us that because Jesus is God there are other things he can do that we cannot!

Jesus is the only One who can save people. No one else in the world is able to save us. ~ Acts 4:12

Create in me a pure heart, God, and make my spirit right again. ~ Psalm 51:10

Only Jesus can saves us from our sins and make us right with God. Coincidently, or perhaps not, the water of baptism is used as a symbol of displacing our sin.

John was baptizing people in the desert and preaching a baptism of changed hearts and lives for the forgiveness of sins. ~ Mark 1:4

Anyone who believes and is baptized will be saved… ~ Mark 16:16a

You were all baptized into Christ, and so you were all clothed with Christ. This means that you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus. ~ Galatians 3:26-27

The buoyancy principle explains that water when displaced takes weight away from us. So does water baptism represent the weight of our sin being displaced from us! Jesus has done for us what we cannot do for ourselves. He has helped us walk on proverbial water and out of the bondage of sinking in sin.

If ever there was a reason to run screaming into the street this would be it!

Have you had a “Eureka” moment with the Savior?

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