Jesus is the Savior – John 19:16-30
Rescuer. Liberator. Deliverer. Emancipator. Champion.
Who comes to mind when you read those words? The war hero that is outnumbered and holds off the enemy to save his unit? The movie character that saves a city by disarming an explosive and, of course, always gets the girl? The football player that intercepts a pass in his endzone to ensure a Super Bowl win for his team?
In John 19 we see the execution of Jesus, a man who, for many years prior to his birth, had been proclaimed as rescuer, liberator, deliverer, emancipator, champion – savior to the Jewish people. Oddly enough, the Jewish leaders are the ones trying to eliminate Him. Why is that?
As Christians, we’re often guilty of reading stories about the missteps of the Jews in the Bible and thinking, “how could they be so dense?”, but I think it’s probably because they were thinking a lot like we still do today. The Jewish people of the time were looking for the Messiah to arrive on the scene as a powerful, charismatic political and military leader that would lead them to independence from the immediate burden in their lives – the Roman government. They wanted a man that they could stand behind as he slayed rulers. Afterwards, they would carry him off on their shoulders as crowds cheered. Sound familiar?
The Jewish leaders of the time held to the Old Testament scriptures describing the power and glory of the coming Messiah – as well as the power and glory He would return to Israel. They weren’t necessarily looking for a Messiah that would be “despised and rejected by mankind”. The Jews wanted a “savior” to free them from Roman oppression and restore them to power. What are some things we look for a “savior” to free us from? Are we looking for a “savior” to bring us health, wealth, or power? Are we satisfied in a Savior that has come to free us from the oppression of sin and the consequences of sinful living? Or, like the Jewish leaders, are we prone to discard Jesus because it doesn’t appear that he is saving us from our worldly burdens?
Sometimes we may feel like the disciples as they watched their leader die a painful, humiliating death. We may wonder where Jesus is when we’re afraid, hurting, sick, or confused. Jesus is our Rescuer, Liberator, Deliverer, Emancipator, Champion, and Savior. He has conquered evil, and despite it’s efforts to rule over us, evil will never prevail because Jesus offered Himself as the ultimate sacrifice so that we may have eternal life with Him in glory.