Saved From What?

How many of us have heard the statement “Jesus saves!” Or has anyone ever asked you, “Are you saved?” I don’t remember how old I was when someone asked me that question. I think I was in high school. I really didn’t know what to say. At that time I understood that a certain group of people liked to go around and make sure everyone was “saved”. I kind of felt an annoyance toward these people and considered them religious nut-jobs who ought to mind their own business. Well lets face it, some of these people could be quite pushy. On top of that I had no idea what they really meant by “saved”; “saved from what?”

Now I wasn’t completely ignorant of what they meant; or so I thought. I had heard that Jesus was a good man who died on a cross to save us from our sins. I didn’t really know how this helped us, but I knew that because He died, we didn’t have to worry about hell or something like that. Decades later I would come to understand more fully what this “saving” was actually about.

For starters, I learned who Jesus is. I assumed, like many, that Jesus was just like other prominent religious figures in history, like Gautama Buddha, the Prophet Muhammad, or Confucius. This was wrong. Jesus is, has always been, and always will be God.

Jesus says, ” I and my Father are one.” – John 10:30

“Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, before Abraham was even born, I am!”” – John 8:58

“No one can see God, but Jesus Christ is exactly like him. He ranks higher than everything that has been made.  Through his power all things were made—things in heaven and on earth, things seen and unseen, all powers, authorities, lords, and rulers. All things were made through Christ and for Christ.  He was there before anything was made, and all things continue because of him.” – Col 1:15-17

Jesus made Buddha. He made Muhammad. He made Confucius. He even made the molecules of the very nails which held Him to that cross. He is not just a good man who died hanging from some timber.

The second thing I learned was why Jesus had to die. This was really a mystery to me until I understood that Jesus is God. He came to earth, giving up His glory, the majesty of His position as God, to be human.  He could not give up his deity yet He was human for a time. Jesus lived a perfect life, without sinning, and then willingly and fully aware of what He must endure, went to the cross to suffer and die for us.

“For our high priest [Jesus] is able to understand our weaknesses. He was tempted in every way that we are, but he did not sin.” – Heb 4:15

“Christ had no sin, but God made him become sin so that in Christ we could become right with God.” – 2 Cor 5:21

He had to do it because we could not. If any other man went to the cross that man would not be paying for our sins, but his own. And once that man was dead, he could never raise himself to give us the hope of eternal life. It had to be Jesus.

The Third thing I learned is how Jesus could pay for our sins. I’ve heard this question in the past; “How could one man pay for all of our sins?” If the price of sin is an eternity in hell, how could one man suffering for a few hours pay for an eternity of hell for even one person much less millions of people? The answer is because the worth of that Man is so much more than everyone and everything else put together.

“For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house.” – Heb 3:3

“Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.” – Rev 5:12

If you took all the people who ever lived and ever will live, all the sand from the shores, all the trees from every forest, all the water from the oceans, all the planets, all the stars, and every piece of cosmic dust in the universe and placed it on one side of a scale and then set Jesus on the other side, His worth would fling it ALL out of existence. That’s how He could suffer for our sins.

The final thing I learned is from what He saved us. Jesus suffered a lot at the hands of the Romans on the day of His crucifixion. He was beaten, He was mocked, He had His beard and hair pulled out, He was was scourged almost to the point of death, and He was nailed to a cross and left to die an excruciating death. In fact the word excruciating comes from the word crucifixion. But all this was nothing compared to the suffering He endured in the three hours of darkness that fell over the earth.

“And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour.” – Mark 15:33

I’ve heard people say this is the time in which the Father turned away from the Son. But this is not so. This was when the Father in full measure poured out His Almighty wrath upon the Son for every sinner that ever was and every sinner that ever would be.  He unleashed hell and fury as nothing that ever was or ever will be again. Even Satan and his daemons will never know the enormity of the righteous judgement exacted on Jesus that day.  This is that from which we are saved. We are saved from God.

“Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him!” – Rom 5:9

Because we have been saved from God, we can now enter into a loving relationship with God.  It was His love and grace that paved the way.  He knew it from the beginning.  This was not plan “B”; this was the plan all along.  Before Adam, before even time, He knew He would need a way to redeem us.  That way is Jesus Christ, the worthy Lamb Who was slain.

I want to credit Ravi Zacharias and Paul Washer for two of my illustrations.

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