About a month ago—on May 8th to be exact—I posted about the treasures in my life. I thought it would be a good idea to expand on each of these treasures for the next few Treasure Tuesdays. So here’s the first treasure on my list.
My Lord and Savior: Jesus Christ
I, even I, am the LORD, and apart from me there is no savior.—Isaiah 43:11
But as for me, I will watch expectantly for the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation. My God will hear me. —Micah 7:7
What a wonderful example the prophet Micah is to us! As one of the minor prophets, the first few chapters of his short Old Testament book are basically messages of God’s judgment on Samaria and Jerusalem. But toward the end of this book, we see clear evidence of Micah’s faith and confidence that God would send a Savior.
As humans, we think we’ve got all the answers. And even when we don’t, we have the technology to find those answers in an instant by searching the internet for whatever may be baffling or confusing to us.
But because of the huge advancements in technology over the past few years, many people today believe that the Old Testament is not relevant to us in this modern world. However, the Old Testament is filled with verses which talk about a Savior or foretell His coming. Here are only a few:
You faithfully answer our prayers with awesome deeds, O God our savior. You are the hope of everyone on earth, even those who sail on distant seas. —Psalm 65:5
It will become a sign and a witness to the LORD of hosts in the land of Egypt; for they will cry to the LORD because of oppressors, and He will send them a Savior and a Champion, and He will deliver them. —Isaiah 19:20
Yet have I been the LORD your God since the land of Egypt; and you were not to know any god except Me, for this is no savior besides Me. —Hosea 13:4
Read the longing in these and many other verses. They yearned for the Savior of the universe to come soon and exhibited great faith that it would happen. They obviously loved God without restraint and absolutely believed that God would send a Savior, someone who would rescue them from themselves and their sins and provide a way for them to live with and worship God forever.
So many people say they believe in God but when it comes to eternal issues, they are floundering in a huge sea of doubt and frustration. It is understandably difficult to believe in a being we cannot see. On top of that uncertainty, we are asked to trust that believing in Jesus Christ as our Savior is the only way to heaven.
Wow. That. Is. Huge.
I love what J. Vernon McGee has to say about this: “You may think you have your way of salvation, but God is the only Savior, and He is the only one who can offer you a plan of salvation.”
God’s plan for our salvation has been in the works since Adam and Eve sinned, and was continued with the birth of His Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus was born as a human man and lived an earthly life so that He could relate to and experience every single thing we humans go through.
The birth of Jesus Christ paved the way for His death on the cross, where He took our sins upon Himself and died on our behalf. And that death paved the way for Him to be resurrected from the dead on the third day, proving that death and sin have no more hold on us.
All this to show how much God loves us and longs for us to live in heaven with Him. Forever.
But this is where faith and trust come into the picture. We must believe that our only chance for eternal salvation comes from Jesus Christ and has nothing to do with ourselves or what we do or don’t do.
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through me.” —John 14:6
Sadly too many of us seem unable to take that giant leap of faith and trust:
He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. —John 1:10-13
Beloved, this is definitely a cause to celebrate! And we do that at Christmas time. I know…it is far from Christmas right now, but please bear with me while I talk about that a bit.
If you take away all the glitter, packages, decorations, baked goodies and music of the Christmas season, we still have the greatest thing for which to be thankful. We celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, the One God sent to free us from the bondage of sin.
What a huge blessing for us!
And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we say His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. John testified about Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.’ For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace. —John 1:14-16
…for today in the city of David there has been born to you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. —Luke 2:11
And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe, and they were alarmed. And he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen; he is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.” —Mark 16:5-7
The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom you had put to death by hanging Him on a cross. He is the one whom God exalted to His right hand as a Prince and a Savior, to grant repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. —Acts 5:30-31