Jump Start # 2698
Revelation 1:5 “and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loves us and released us from our sins by His blood.”
The saving blood of Jesus Christ is THE message of the N.T. Because of that wonderful sacrifice, Jesus brings in hope, life, purpose and a future with Him. As our verse states, He “released us from our sins by His blood.” Jesus put a separation between us and the sins we committed. He removed those sins.
It is interesting to consider what Jesus saved us from. Our verse would tell us that He saved us from our sins. On a grander scale, some would say that Jesus saved us the Satan, and that’s certainly true. Satan has been after us for a long, long time. He is deceitful, dishonest and never goes away. He may flee, as James teaches, but he always seems to come back. Yet, in still another way, Jesus saved us from Hell. For some, salvation is a get out of Hell free card. It’s not so much coming to Jesus as it is avoiding Hell is what some are looking for. But the truth is, Jesus saved us from the consequences of sin and that is Hell.
But there remains yet another aspect that we often do not consider very often. While all the above is true, Jesus actually saves us from ourselves. We are our own worst enemy. We can blame influences, temptation and even the devil, but in the end, we are the ones who have hurt ourselves. We didn’t have to open the door to temptation, but we did. We didn’t have to make those choices that we did. We didn’t have to ignore what the Lord said.
On our own, doing as we pleased, following whatever we wanted to hasn’t worked out very well for us. Spiritually, it has ruined us. It has peppered guilt, shame and consequences throughout our lives. It has led us to making messes of relationships and hurting others. We’ve gotten smarter, but not wiser, especially spiritually.
On our own, we’ve believed that we could work out any problem and do alright, on our own. But, that hasn’t been the case. The problems have been bigger than we are. The issues are complex. Living without kindness, grace and forgiveness, which are virtues of Christ, we have become sour, grumpy and miserable.
On our own, we’ve gotten confused about what’s life all about. Is it the biggest house, the most exotic vacations and the showing off of stuff that matters? Is it how fat we can make the 401? Keeping up with others has made us exhausted, burned out and unhappy.
On our own, we’ve become glued to the TV, addicted to materialism, superficial and worldly. Funerals terrify us. We do all that we can to avoid old age and to keep on going. National news, social culture shapes how we feel and our moods. We hide behind the façade of we’re doing ok and life’s a blast, but it’s not. On our own, this is all we have. There is nothing to hope for behind the grave and there is no one beyond ourselves to help us.
On our own, we are lost, empty and selfish. On our own, we have messed things up. On our own, we are living not the way God intended. On our own, this is as good as it gets. On our own…
Jesus saved us from ourselves. We put ourselves in the place that we are. His saving blood cleansed us and His righteous ways have paved the way for us to live better, nobler, and even godlier. Following Jesus, we don’t get in the mess we once were in. Following Jesus we understand a grander purpose in life and that is to glorify God. Following Jesus we open our eyes and our hearts to others. Following Jesus, kindness follows us. Following Jesus, we become the best people that we can.
What did Jesus save us from? He saved us from ourselves. This may be why the first step of discipleship is to deny yourself. It is ourselves that got us into trouble. It is ourselves that made the mess that we were living in.
So all of this reminds us that we need to:
Listen more to Jesus. He is the way out of the mess. He is the way out of ourselves. His thinking is superior to ours. His way is that of truth and holiness. His character molds the best character in us. Rather than quoting others, we ought to be quoting the Lord.
Learn to say “No,” to self. That’s the “denying” yourself part of discipleship. “I don’t feel like it,” and, “I don’t want to,” are the words and the language of one who is following self and not Christ. You may do things you do not want to, such as forgiving someone or apologizing to another. If we only did what we felt like doing, then we’d be right back in the mess that we left. Following Christ means that I have crucified self. Christ lives in us.
Rejoice with the new found life. What you will quickly notice is that your life becomes better because of Christ. The misery, darkness and trying to impress others is gone. Now, you live better. Now you think better. Now you are better. Better outlook. Better attitude. Better hope. The shades have been raised and the sunlight of Jesus Christ shines brightly into your heart. What a wonderful, wonderful life God has planned for you. It doesn’t take too long for a person to realize that he never wants to go back to that old self again.
Jesus has saved us. He saved us from ourselves.