Saturday, December 18, 2021

What Does This Guy Really Need?


What does this guy need?
         I recently asked my 8 year old, “What does this guy need?”  He quickly responded with . . . “He needs HELP!”  I am sure you would agree. In a desperate situation, a person does not need correction, lecture, rebuke or more guilt. He is not ready to receive teaching or a suggested path to reform. He certainly cannot be expected to provide some sort of payment to qualify.  He just needs help!
         Think of first responders. They do not show up to model, teach, admonish or criticize. The show up to rescue people . . . to save people. There are many perspectives from which we can ponder the story of Jesus coming into this world. An important word tucked in the gospel of Luke is “Savior”!
         A group of shepherds were on the night shift when an angel of the Lord announced, “Today in the town of David a SAVIOR has been born to you; He is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” You might imagine God would send His eternal, majestic Son into the world on a powerful white horse, or in a blazing chariot of fire streaming from the heavens!
But no … God sends His Son as a vulnerable, dependent baby. Born to a young mother, and in the care of an unlikely and poor carpenter. And notice the FIRST title, role and mission ascribed to Jesus is that of SAVIOR! Awesome! Jesus comes to save us from ourselves; from our fallenness; from this broken world; from our sin - He is the Savior of the world… your and my savior most personally.  
         The word ‘savior’ appears 34 times in the Old Testament and 24 times in the New Testament. That is a lot!  And in most of these uses, God is the Savior and men are being rescued. But before we can be truly rescued, we must see we are in trouble. We have a need that we cannot meet ourselves. When people call 911, it is because they are in a situation beyond their control. They need help… and now. And so they desperately reach out. It is the same with the Lord God. He is ready to rescue and save!
         So let us remember that the CRADLE of Christmas is vitally connected to the CROSS of Calvary. While the baby Jesus is announced as a “Savior”, the full expression came 3 decades later when Jesus died in our stead. “But grace has been revealed through the appearing of our SAVIOR, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the GOSPEL.” (1 Timothy 1:10)


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