By Chris Chambers
Pastor, Brush Creek Baptist Church, Brush Creek
When I see the word “saves” I think of the ninth inning of a baseball game. If the game is close by one or two runs, the team in the lead will typically bring in their closer to try and get the “save.” The closer is in the game to save, or preserve the lead.
Jesus does so much more than that. We are not in the lead when He saves us. We are not even close to being in the lead. Ephesians 2:1 says, “And you were dead in your trespasses and sins.”
When Jesus saves us, He gives us more than victory, He gives us life. Ephesians 2:4-5 says, “But, God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love that He had for us, made us alive with Christ even though we were dead in trespasses. You are saved by grace!”
We do nothing for Christ to save us, He does it through His grace, because of His love for us. We are saved from the burden of living under the law. We are saved from the uncertainty of whether or not we are good enough to obtain salvation. He saves us from ourselves and our self-righteousness. We depend totally on Christ. Through the grace of God, and only through the grace of God, He saves us.
The closer in baseball is often brought in with great pressure on him. Sometimes there are already base runners and he has to come in and be perfect in order to earn the save. Mariana Rivera, perhaps the greatest closer in baseball, had a major league record 652 saves over his career. He was under pressure a lot.
But, consider what it took to save you. Jesus lived a perfect life, was unfairly tried and convicted, took a severe beating, forced to carry His cross, then He was nailed to that cross. For six hours, He hung between heaven and earth while His heavenly Father turned His back on Him and forsook His One and Only Son. He suffered, bled, and died for you. He took your punishment so you did not have to. He was buried. Then He rose three days later, defeating death and sin. That is the greatest save ever.
Do not forget, Jesus was fully human. Every time the whip struck his back, every time the hammer hit the nail, every fight for breath, Jesus felt it.
How great was the pressure from those who mocked Him to come down and save himself? How great was the temptation to end His suffering by calling on the angels to rescue Him? But He remained on the cross to save you and me.
When we stand at the grave of a loved one who has been saved by Christ, He saves us from despair. We may be sad, but we can have peace our loved one is in heaven, saved from suffering and anguish. Jesus saves completely and eternally.