The whole “Jesus is my savior,” or, “Jesus saves,” thing kinda gives me cringy shivers whenever I hear or read the phrase in our modern culture.
The energy or feeling-tone that statement usually carries never hits me in an authentic way. It’s so often frantic and pushy.
I guess I’ve never really understood what exactly it is that Jesus saves people from. And when I’ve asked people, the answer I’ve gotten has always had to do with burning in hell eternally after the person dies. This is what they say Jesus has saved them from.
But here’s how it’s recently been taught to me which lands more solidly in the heart-box…
If I don’t feel saved… If I don’t feel safe... If I feel like I need to earn my worth... If I feel like I need to justify my existence...
(Etc. — you get it…)
Then I’ll look for everyone and everything else in my life to save me.
I’ll look to my wife to save me.
I’ll look to my daughter to save me.
I’ll look to my vocation to save me.
I’ll look for social media approval to save me.
I’ll look to my friends to save me.
I’ll look to my health to save me.
None of these things can handle this burden.
But Jesus can…
All the things that my fragile little ego thinks it needs to be saved from:
All of my insecurities…
All of the emotional checks that I write that bounce…
All of the ways I don’t come out ahead on the cosmic scoresheet of life…
All of these things have been brought to death in Jesus’s death.
And in his resurrection, I’ve been handed a fresh page to live a new life.
His life. Which has always been kept safe.
No matter what stupid, sordid shit I’ve done.
When I see this gift for what it is,
this happy exchange of new life for what it is,
I can’t help but treasure it.
I can’t improve it.
And I can’t ruin it.
It’s mine to enjoy and share and play in.
In every holy and eternal moment,
this pattern of death and resurrection is working.
I don’t know about you, but THIS saving story carries a lot more power than the one I hear so often in our culture at large.