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October 17, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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Devotional: Day Six
The Greatest Rescue Mission
“This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it: ‘Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners . . .’”—1 Timothy 1:15 (NLT)
Daring rescues are one of the most common narratives found in film. From Black Hawk Down to Captain Phillips to Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, the rescue mission is often an exciting and chaotic narrative.
What is it that draws us to these types of stories? Why do we get so much satisfaction and joy in seeing someone rescued? Maybe it’s the excitement and action, the thrill of the story. But it could be something more. Maybe it’s because deep down, in the depths of our souls, each and every one of us realizes we are hopeless, helpless, and in desperate need of rescuing. And the good news is that rescue is available to all of us!
In today’s verse, it says that “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.” The word used by Paul here is save, which means “to rescue; to deliver out of danger, to rescue from destruction and bring into divine safety.” You see, in Genesis 2:17 (NKJV), God gave Adam a simple command, saying, “Of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
Through Adam and Eve’s disobedience, sin entered the world. And as God warned, by this one act of disobedience, Adam and Eve sealed the fate of all humanity and brought death into this world. In that moment, their spirits died. “Sin made its entry into the world through one man, and through sin, death. The entail of sin and death passed on to the whole human race, and no one could break it for no one was himself free from sin” (Romans 5:12 PHILLIPS). Their sin became our sin, their fate became our fate, and we were powerless to save ourselves from this fate.
We were, as Paul claimed, slaves to sin, which “brings condemnation for everyone” (Romans 5:18 NLT). Why? Because sin separates us from the holy and perfect God. So, in order to bring us back to life, death was required. Blood needed to be spilled. Leviticus 17:11 (NKJV) says, “For the life of the flesh is in the blood . . . for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul,” and Romans 6:23 (NIV) says, “For the wages of sin is death.”
But because God loves us so deeply, He didn’t leave us to our well-deserved fate. He didn’t leave us stranded in sin. No! He sent His Son into the world to “give his life as a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28 ESV) “in order to rescue us from this evil world in which we live” (Galatians 1:4 NLT). “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8 NIV).
On this day, which we affectionately call Good Friday, our Lord Jesus was beaten, insulted, scourged, wrongly condemned, forced to carry our cross, and then was nailed to it and died upon it! At that moment, Jesus uttered, “Tetelestai . . .” which means, “It is finished” (John 19:30). The debt was paid, the punishment had been fulfilled! God's work of redemption for fallen man was complete; mission accomplished. The blood of “the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world” (John 1:29 NLT) had been poured out on the altar of eternity!
Jesus’ death on the cross paid the debt of sin for all mankind. He took all of our iniquity upon His shoulders and conquered sin at the cross. “He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5 NIV).
Today, think about what this all means. 2,000 years ago, Jesus, the Son of God, who holds the universe in His hands, was quite literally crushed and killed. He hung very publicly on the cross and died. And while, yes, He was up there for all of mankind, for humanity as a whole, He was also up there for YOU personally! Your name was on His heart, your face was in His mind, your soul was what kept Him up on that cross because He loves you so deeply and unconditionally!
Things to Consider: Today is Good Friday, the day we remember the sacrifice Jesus made for our sins, to bring us into right relationship with God forever! How has this fast helped to show you a deeper glimpse of His faithful love?
Danny Saavedra has served on the staff of Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.