“Jesus saves.” I’d seen these words for years, sometimes on signs on the highway, sometimes just scrawled on a building or bridge in spray paint. I always thought it was just the work of some simple-minded religious nut. Jesus saves who from what, and how? He’s been dead for 2,000 years, right?
I always thought too I had everything under control, but by the time I was about 40 my life was in a downward spiral. My marriage was failing. My job was at risk. Even my health was suffering. The one friend I knew to be a Christian showed up very unexpectedly one day. How we both ended up at the same place at the same time that day was a shock and a mystery. In the course of our conversation she loaned her me Bible. The Bible meant little to me at the time, but I knew it meant a lot to her. I took it to a quiet place and found myself led to the words of Jesus on divorce that stunned me with their power and wisdom. It was more than just good thoughts for living. I sensed the presence of someone who knew me better than I knew myself, someone giving me a direct command that stopped me dead in my tracks in my thoughts of divorce. Something changed in me in the reading of these words, and it became very clear that I should change my path. I had no prior regard for this Jesus, but somehow he reached into my life, into my heart, and changed my life.
I was so struck by this experience that I thirsted to know more. Over the next several months I continued to read, to study and to pray. My life changed as I committed myself to Christ and finally came to understand how he, the Messiah, sent to reconcile mankind to God, could save me.
Jesus saved my marriage. Jesus saved me from living a life of self-centeredness. Jesus saved me from pursuing my lowest desires by showing me a higher standard for living. Jesus saved me from not knowing God by giving me insights into Him that were clearer than those of any religion. Jesus saved me from focusing my life on material things by showing me the things in life that really mattered. Jesus saved me from my intellectual pride by teaching me that the greatest wisdom is found in humility. Jesus saved my children from growing up without having their father at home by teaching me that the greatest expression of love is found in sacrifice. Jesus saved me from the fear of death by giving me his promise of eternal life.
The list goes on, so perhaps I can just sum it up in these two simple words:
“She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”
“For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul?”
Words of Jesus Christ in Matthew 16:25-26
“But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.”
Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”
Words of Jesus Christ in Luke 7:50
“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.”
Words of Jesus Christ in Luke 19:10
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”
Words of Jesus Christ in John 3:16-17
“I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
Words of Jesus Christ in John 10:9-10
Then Jesus cried out, “When a man believes in me, he does not believe in me only, but in the one who sent me. When he looks at me, he sees the one who sent me. I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness. “As for the person who hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge him. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save it.”
Words of Jesus Christ in John 12:44-47