Saviour

sumatran-tiger-518771_640Isaiah 19:20: It will be a sign and a witness to the LORD of hosts in the land of Egypt. When they cry to the LORD because of oppressors, he will send them a savior and defender, and deliver them. (ESV)

We need a saviour because we have fallen into the pit of sin, and every attempt at righteousness makes the pit deeper, in an endless cycle of sin, shame and death, just as Adam and Eve experienced (Genesis 3).

The bible says that our righteousness, attempts at doing right, are as filthy rags, giving off a putrid smell, far from being representative of the holiness of God (Isaiah 64:6). So if we needed anything, it was to be saved from our own efforts. The very hands that tried to do things well are soiled, polluting everything we do.

We need to be made a new. We need more than pity. The bible speaks of healing the wound of God’s people slightly (Jeremiah 8:11). We do not need that. We need something deep and total. And Jesus said that he has been anointed to bind up the brokenhearted (Luke 4:18).

He saved from sin, he saves us from our fruitless self-efforts by the gift of his righteousness (2Corinthians 5:21). He had attained the height of righteousness on our behalf. He was tempted in all points yet without sin. He has fulfilled the law (Matthew 5:17).

And the bible says that we are complete in him who is the head of principality and power. He saves us from demonic dominion (Colossians 2:10).

The saviour that is meant to be sent from God in the focus verse was an individual, just as David as an individual broke the neck of the nemesis of Israel at that time.

He was saviour, he saved the neck of the army of Israel with one strike at the forehead of Goliath, with a stone thrown from a sling (1Samuel 17).

Goliath believed they David was beneath him, and he promised to feed him to the birds of the air. He was already cutting him with his word, but it was not to be.

The devil similarly would have felt amused at the form of Jesus, the one sent to deal a death blow on him  (Revelation 12:7-9). He remembered the blow Archangel Michael dealt him in heaven when he was kicked down to earth, so Jesus coming in the form of man, and not an angel, really puzzled him. That was why the bible says that the foolishness of God is wiser than man (1Corinthians 1:25).

Jesus said to the Pharisees, an evil and an adulterous generation seek for a sign, but none shall be giving to him except the sign of Prophet Jonah, and that as Jonah was in the belly of for three days and three night Jesus would also be three days and nights in the belly of the earth (Matthew 12:38-40).

That must have been puzzling to many and even to the devil. He was going to be saviour in an unusual way. That was why Isaiah asked: who has believed our report (Isaiah 53:1)? God told Haggai: I will do a work in your days; that you will not believe even if you were told (Haggai 1:5).

Even those who prophesied about Jesus did not know the full picture of who Jesus is, that is why the bible says that those who have gone before will not be made perfect without us (Hebrews 11:39-40). It is fulfilling for them (though they are in heaven now) to experience God on the earth as saviour. And Paul said that the things about Jesus was hidden in time past but has been revealed now through the apostles and prophets (Ephesians 3:5).

Once you realise that you need saving then you must look for a saviour. But do not look further than 2000 years ago, to the cross, where Jesus was crucified.

But many people get confused about to whom they should go to save them. Some think they are their own saviours. But there is no amount of self-improvement that will get us there.

There is another issue, which is the need for us to define what we need to be saved from. The ultimate thing we need to be saved from is eternal damnation, hence the bible says that for God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believes in him will not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16). God made the ultimate sacrifice to set us free from our predetermined evil end, our ultimate nemesis.

Because it is appointed for man to die once and after that is judgement, we need to be saved from eternal damnation, we need to be saved from the second death, eternal separation from God.

We need to be aware of what happens when we breathe our last. Is it a journey to the nirvana, into nothingness, or we will come back here in another form? Or is it as the bible says, eternity either heaven or hell?

But the truth is, as mentioned before, it is appointed for man to die once and after that is judgement (Hebrews 9:27). The judgement is the final decision on the eternal direction because on your decision for Christ or not.

Because the sin of man has been judged in Jesus, it does not mean that is the end of it, we still have to hear the gospel and believe it (Mark 16:15-18).

But since the devil wants company in hell, he blinds the eyes of people lest they believe the gospel (2Corinthians 4:4). The blindness manifests when we chase everything to feed the flesh and are driven by the lust of the flesh, the pride of life and, full of the love of the world.

Jesus rebuked someone for not being rich towards him (Luke 12:15-21). Jesus said certain people did not come to him that they may have life (John 5:39-40) since there is no life in any other, they remain spiritually dead.

Paul said that the children of Israel were working hard to establish their own righteousness when the only righteousness that counts is that of Jesus (Romans 10:3). That goes to show that you cannot save yourself you need a saviour and his name is Jesus.

Since what we need to be saved from is death that means what we need is life. And Jesus said that until we eat his flesh and drink his blood, we will have no life in us (John 6:53). Those actions are deliberate.

The life will not just come into you without your active involvement. It is not up to God to get you saved, it is up to you to know the truth and to embrace it to be free (John 8:30-32).

And eating the flesh and drinking blood is something shameful. That means if we cannot reject the shame associated with coming to Jesus (Hebrews 13:13), which may have to do with being mocked, and persecuted, for being involved in something that is against popular culture, or even social norms, we can count ourselves out of his life. Jesus said if we are ashamed of him in the world, he would be ashamed of us before his heavenly father (Mark 8:38).

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