Salvation From What?

With these words, the angel announced to Joseph what Mary’s child would come to do. Jesus was not born primarily to deliver us from sickness, poverty, pain, confusion, and conflict. Followers of Christ are not exempt from the troubles of daily life. Indeed, Jesus promised that “In the world you will have tribulation [trouble]” (John 16:33). It is true that Jesus did heal many who were ill; taught His followers the way of wisdom and life; on three occasions provided food for His disciples and hearers; and called people into a new manner of living that fostered more loving relationships. But by no means did He fulfill the expectations of the Jewish people for an earthly savior, one who would rid them of the hated Romans and usher in an era of prosperity and peace. Why? Because His mission centered not on the symptoms, but on the source, of all unhappiness: Sin. All of His works of mercy pointed to His coming victory over this ancient and primary enemy (Matthew 9:6). By sin, death entered the world (Romans 5:12), for sin separates us from God, the fountain of life (Isaiah 59:2; Psalm 36:9). Only by dealing with our guilt before a Holy Judge could Jesus open to us the gates of everlasting joy. So, let us also concentrate upon the main cause of all our troubles: Our relationship with God and with others. And let us trust daily in Jesus, who came to “save His people from their sins.”