Savior of the world is quite a tall order for such a tiny baby. I often wonder, as a mother myself, did Mary have any idea what the future held? Ah, I digress, as today’s message is about what it takes to be a Savior. We’ll get to Mary another day.
What God requires of the Savior and determines we need in order to be saved is much different than what people want and expect (Isaiah 53:3-5).
Often what we expect God to do in our lives is different than what He actually does. We pray for riches, and we get friends. We pray for a promotion, and we lose our job, not having the foresight to know God already has something better lined up. We pray for our sons or daughters to come back home, forgetting that God is with them, and he’ll bring them home when He decides they’re ready..
The Jewish people wanted “one who would break the Roman yoke and save them from being under bondage to a foreign power” (Jesus, Savior of the World by Charles Spurgeon, https://decisionmagazine.com/jesus-savior-world/).
The Savior that God knew we needed was one that could save us from the yoke of slavery to sin. God understands how powerful sin is and knows the only way to overcome sin is with His love (1 John 4:12).
How God Sees Sin
Before we move on, I want to clear up something about this three letter word, S-I-N.
You see, God doesn’t view sin the way we do. We often belittle and justify it. We categorize it and divvy it up into different types, levels and severities. But God just sees sin as sin (1 Corinthians 6:9-10).
God’s definition of sin is rebellion against and separation from Him. Think about it, what was the first thing Adam and Eve did after they committed the first sin? They rebelled against God by disobeying Him, and then they separated themselves from Him by hiding.
God desires to be close to us, but when we sin, we are filled with guilt and shame, and we push ourselves away from God. As we continue down the path of sin, we widen that gap between us and God more and more. We each choose to sin. It’s self-inflicted (James 4:4).
Jesus Came to Save Us
Jesus was sent to save us from our sin. The cross that He died on became the bridge that provides the way back to God, no matter how far we think we’ve gone or how bad we think we are.
There’s no distance too far for God when you allow Jesus to save you.
Tell me, do you know any other so-called savior that can do that for you?
When God said He would send a Savior, He didn’t mean He would send someone to conquer the Roman Empire once and for all. He had something bigger in mind.
We didn’t need a conqueror of men. We didn’t need someone who could only treat the symptoms and put a bandaid on the issue. We needed someone that could conquer sin and death, and that someone is Jesus Christ.
“that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.” Hebrews 2:14-15
God goes after the root problem. Why is there warring, injustice, famine, corruption, abuse, and oppression? One would think that if the Savior of the world has already come, that all those things would cease, right? That’s what the Jews of Jesus’ day thought, too, and that’s why they refused to accept that Jesus was their anticipated Savior. He wasn’t what they thought He should be and He didn’t do what they thought He should do.
The real question is, Why does the world have all of these evil things? And the answer is found in Genesis 3, when sin first entered the world. After that day, things only got worse.
Adam’s own son, Cain, killed his brother, Abel (Genesis 4:8); and on and on it goes. We only need to turn the pages of a history book to see that the thread of sin runs deep in the hearts of men. The propensity to sin is in our DNA.
“Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned.” Romans 5:12
The only solution, then, is to send the only One who is worthy, a spotless lamb, without fault, to take away the sins of the world. Without sin, our hearts can be restored to God, the sin that separates us from Him is wiped out, and has no more control over us.
Does this mean we never sin again? No, but it does mean we are no longer bound by the chains of sin, the chains that hold us down and keep us from God.
“For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1
Requirements for the Savior of the World
The requirements of this kind of Savior are as follows:
- He must be God and no one else (Isaiah 43:11, Titus 2:13) Jesus is the son of God and He is God in the flesh. He is Emmanuel, God with us. Jesus was sent to earth as an infant so He could live and walk among us.
- He must be perfect, without sin (2 Corinthians 5:21). Before Jesus died on the cross for our sins, God required the Jews sacrifice only a spotless lamb as an atonement for their sins before they could be in His presence. Jesus is called the Lamb of God because He became the final sacrifice. To be in God’s presence, we need only to accept Jesus as our Savior.
- He must be able to conquer death. The punishment for sin is death. When Jesus came to save us, He brought with Him eternal life. When we choose to remain enslaved to sin, we are slowly dying and growing further apart from God. Jesus, the only person to have ever conquered death, gives that same power to those that choose to believe in Him. “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit,” 1 Peter 3:18
When you look around, you watch the news, and you see everything going on in the world, realize what you’re seeing are the symptoms and consequences of the sin that was introduced at the very beginning of the creation of the world. Like an untreated wound, it is infected and festering, and will remain that way as long as we continue to choose sin and death over God’s saving grace.
Each of us play a part in this. It’s not about how great of sin you’ve done, it’s all about how Jesus Christ came to earth as a human, so that He could live a blameless, sin-free life among us, then give up His own life as a final sacrifice for our sins, and raise up from the dead three days later so that He could show all the world that He is truly the Savior of the world.
And all that is required of us to be saved is to admit that we are sinners in need of a savior, to accept that Jesus is that Savior, and to ask Him to come into our hearts and save us once and for all from sin and death.
“Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.” Romans 10:9-10
That’s it. It’s very simple. The choice is yours.
Will you let Jesus save you?
To follow the whole series of Journey to Christmas, click here: https://jenniferjabbour.com/the-journey-to-christmas-advent-series/