Aloha Friday Message – November 18, 2016 – JESUS SAVES

1647AFC111816 – Jesus Saves

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Luke 23:36-37 – 36 The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him sour wine, 37 and saying, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!”

Colossians 1:13-14 13 He has rescued us from the power of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

E pili mau na pomaika‘i ia ‘oe a me ke akua ho’omaika‘i ‘oe, ʻŌmea! (May blessing always be with you and may God bless you, Beloved!) We’ve all seen a sign like this one in the circle at the top of the page – at least something similar. Maybe it was a neon sign, even a flashing sign. Maybe it was a huge black and white sign by the side of the road, or a billboard. Perhaps you’ve seen it as a piece of jewelry, or even seen such a sign defaced by adding some other object – string, Green Stamps, or some other silliness. There is a hymn by that name – Jesus Saves. What does that mean, anyway? From whom or what or where does Jesus save? Who does Jesus save? Why does Jesus save? How does Jesus save?

We are so familiar with Bible passages like John 3:16-17. The key word in the passage is probably “whosoever” in John 3:16 which connects directly with “the whole world” in John 3:17. (Click on the link if you’re having difficulty visualizing or hearing that passage.) Sometimes our heads and even our hearts say, “Yeah, yeah, I know that part, but what else are you talking about? Doesn’t everyone know the answers to your questions?” We will see.

That passage in Luke – very familiar, yes? Jesus is dying on the cross. The Good Thief is promised passage into Paradise. Jesus is mocked by the crowd. They want to see him exercise his miraculous powers or witness His Father’s intervention. Jesus just keeps on doing what he’s doing (age quod agis) – dying a horrible death in absolute agony. He chooses – through an incredible act of will and faith – to allow God’s Love to hold him fastened to that cross. He will not let his Divine Power interfere with the Divine Plan. He will not save himself. Let’s dissect that word for “save” in this passage.

This word in Greek is σῶσον (sōson) {so’-zon} from σώζω (sózó) {sode’-zo}. It is to preserve, to rescue, to deliver someone in danger of destruction or from suffering. It is to keep safe or to bring to safety, to heal, to make whole, to sustain life. Jesus willingly gave up his life so that he and all of us – through adoption – could have everlasting life. Remember that he said in Matthew 16:2525 For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it. (See also Mark 8:35, Luke 9:24, and Luke 17:33) Jesus knew what he was talking about because he was in the process of losing his life. Isn’t that what we are doing? “Life is our greatest treasure because it is given to us expressly for the purpose of losing it; and how we do that is what makes all the difference.”

Jesus knew exactly what he was doing – he had even told his Disciples at least three times what would happen to him in Jerusalem – and he went through with it anyway. “Greater love …” Even the people mocking him knew the claims Jesus made about his mission: Matthew 27:43 43 He trusts in God; let God deliver him now, if he wants to; for he said, ‘I am God’s Son.’”

In this verse from Matthew, there is a word which is sometimes considered synonymous with “save;” it is “deliver.” Here the background of the word is also interesting. It is ῥυσάσθω (rhysasthō) {roo’sas-tho} from ῥύομαι rhuomai rhoo’-om-ahee which means to rescue, to remove someone who is trapped in presence of danger or oppression, to be liberated entirely out of that danger and oppression and be delivered directly to the rescuer. It was let God deliver him now, if he wants to; that is a direct challenge to God’s authority.

The people who were torturing Jesus to death challenged him to save himself. We believe he chose not to do that because he was there to save us. He allowed Love to hold him on that Cross because he was committed to God’s Divine Plan to die for whosever in the whole world. Look around you right now, before you read another word. Is there any earthling within your view either in the place where you are reading this or on some form of mass media? Can you see or remember or envision other earthlings – good, bad, rich, poor, powerful, marginalized, widowed, orphaned, angry, evil, pious, saintly, political, humble, holy, self-righteous, laughing, crying, singing, dying – are any of those things happening to the people around you and even across the whole world?

Jesus came to die for you, for them, for us. That is who he came to save – the whole world. Are all saved? No. Only whosoever believes in him can be saved. But why would he do such a thing? You might as well ask, “Who created you?” Would you reply “God did?” Or would you reply, “Some unknown Force or Greater Power?” Either way, God or Force, the next question is “Why? Why did he create you?” It was because God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son.

From whom or from what does Jesus save us? From sin and death for the wages of sin is death and whosoever believes in him shall not perish but shall have everlasting life. Who wants that, anyway?!? If it means just going on like things are now … nobody. If it means living with God – El Shaddai-Olam – forever and ever … then it is all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God. (See John 1:12)

Just so you don’t have to go back to the top of the previous page, remember this: Colossians 1:13-14 13 He has rescued us from the power of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

Here is another save word in a different context – He has rescued us. Here we have a new twist on this idea. It comes from the Greek ἐξαιρούμενός (exaireo) {ex-ahee-reh’-o} from ἐξαιρέω (exaireó) {ex-ahee-reh’-o}. It is to selectively choose out one; to deliver, to remove, to rescue, to pluck from danger or destruction. We also have transferred. This is μετέστησεν metestēsen {metest-e’-sen} from μεθίστημι (methistémi) {meth-is’-tay-mee} and this is an amazing concept. This is to transpose, swap out; to remove from one place to another; of change of situation or place; it is even to depart from life, to die, move something or someone out of its/her/his place, to transfer, cause to change its place, move out of its place – this place of death under the power of darkness. Where do those who are saved go?

They go to unapproachable light: 1 Timothy 6:16 16 It is he alone who has immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see; to him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen. They go to Paradise. They go to be with God. That’s the place for which I’m charting my course. God has made his Salvation known, and it is not difficult to find.

Take a look at Acts 4:12 12 There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among mortals by which we must be saved. Here the word salvation is σωτηρία (soteria) {so-tay-ree’-ah}. You will recognize some of the synonyms: It is deliverance, preservation, safety, salvation; deliverance from the molestation of enemies (like Old Scratch himself!); it is everlasting life. We can all receive it, but there’s just one place to find it: John 14:6 6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. So “who ya gonna call?” Not Ghost Busters. And none of these heroes either:















There is only one who has the power to save. Matthew 28:18 18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me… “Would you like to know what that really means, what it really, really means?

Follow this link!

Whatever, whenever, wherever, whoever, however, if ever, forever — at your service, Belovéd!

Please say prayers for hope, healing, and health for MNK whose life is in the hands of the Lord this week.

Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture passages are from the New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE) New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright © 1989, 1993 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Aloha Friday Messages by Charles O. Todd, III is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License

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About Chick Todd

American Roman Catholic reared as a "Baptiterian" in Denver Colorado.

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