Christmas: A Savior Has Been Born

Welcome to Real Life. Not long after I surrendered my life to Christ as a teenager, I ran into a friend in the school cafeteria. She asked, “What’s new?”

“I got saved,” I said.

“Saved from what?” she replied.

     _____

Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.Luke 2:11

At the launch of Jesus’ public ministry, he stood in his local synagogue and read these words from the prophet Isaiah:
The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.
[1]
Then, Jesus said, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”

At that time, the nation of Israel was living under the oppression of the Roman Empire. When Jesus announces that he is the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy, his neighbors respond with incredulity. Isn't this Joseph’s son? I knew him when he was in diapers. This carpenter will save us from Rome? I don’t think so.

But, Jesus was and is Savior. He came to set us free. Just, not in the way they expected.

The Spirit of the Lord is on me. Jesus is Emmanuel, God with us, God who put on flesh.[2]

He has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. I’m a spiritual pauper. Nothing I do is good enough to earn heaven. All my attempts at goodness are tainted by sin.

To proclaim freedom for the prisoners. I was born under the oppression of Adam’s sin. I’m a slave to it. I can’t stop. My sin condemns me to death. But, on the cross, Jesus took my place and purchased my pardon. I am free. Though I still struggle with sin, it no longer owns me. I belong to God.

Recovery of sight for the blind. Before I knew Christ, I stumbled in darkness. Now, I can see.

To set the oppressed free. My soul is free! Any oppression I experience on earth—physical, political, psychological—is temporary. In His Messianic Kingdom to come, I will live wholly free. Hallelujah!

To proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor. God’s not mad at me. He loves me. He sent his Son to rescue me.

Still, like the people of Jesus’ day, I want a Savior from today’s problems: cancer, debt, joblessness, racial strife, broken relationships. All are legitimate needs and longings. And, often Jesus meets them. But, these are temporary fixes. God’s fix goes deeper. In the midst of life circumstances that stink, my Savior throws out a secure life-line that reaches beyond today to eternity.

Pastor Don, Eva and I
My dear friend and mentor, Eva, is dying of ovarian cancer. Yet, this is not the end for her. She’s grabbed hold of Jesus’ life-line. When her eyes close on earth, they’ll open to her Real Life in Christ. With smiling tears, Eva told me, “Peggi, I can’t wait to lay this tired body down and be with Jesus.”
But for them it was only the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world and all their adventures had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on forever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.” ―C.S. Lewis, Chronicles of Narnia: The Last Battle

Yes, I need a Savior. How about you?


Taking it further:
  • Need the Savior? Call (888) NEED-HIM or visit www.needhim.org for more info.
  • Please pray for Pastor Don and Eva and their family as they walk through these painful days.
  • Like waking up from the longest dream, how real it seemed
    Until your love broke through
    I've been lost in a fantasy, that blinded me
    Until your love, your love broke through

    –Keith Green (1953-82), lyrics of “Your Love Broke Through”; on YouTube
[1] Isaiah 61:1-2
[2] John 1:1, 14; Isaiah 9:6

Comments

  1. Nicely explained, Peggi. The "saved" terminology didn't make sense to me for the first 30 years of my life. It's still an expression I'm not always comfortable with - I think because I associate it with the very self-righteous people who I first heard the phrase from years back. But I am VERY comfortable with the concept!

    I'm sorry to hear about your friend, Peggi. I know that just because you know she'll be in a better place doesn't make the impending loss hurt less. Prayers for you both.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Shel. Thanks so much for stopping by. Unfortunately, "getting saved" was one of those terms used in the Christian subculture that ended up having a confusing/negative connotation for many (as shown by my friend's question). When a dearly loved one like Eva faces eternity, I am so grateful that Jesus left his thrown above and came to save us!

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