On this Good Friday 2019 for Christians around the world, I’m raising a question that may have entered your mind before when Christians use this term “saved.”
If Jesus Christ has God’s power to save us, what are we to be saved from? Or for?
Perhaps no other set of questions can elicit more variation in answers among those identified with the Christian faith. And this may be true because the underlying questions of what is “sin” and “salvation” raise their own disparate answers.
My book (available through https://www.highergroundbooksandmedia.com/product-page/love-s-resurrection-its-power-to-roll-away-fear-s-heaviest-stone) about Love’s Resurrection is an Easter book that is all about the sins of Good Friday. The sins we associate with the crucifixion death of Jesus Christ. It is my spiritual autobiography, and it offers my own answers to the questions raised above. It is about my own sins and my salvation within the context of my seven decades of earthly life noting my array of life experiences, including my academic studies.
A blogpost is not a book, but I will try my best to give the nutshell answer to my own reason for celebrating Good Friday and its consequential Easter in my own life. Chances are you will never read my book, but you may read this. And it may lead you to ponder your own sin story and your own salvation story.
Notice the way I separate out sin and salvation as two different life stories rolled into one’s self or personhood.
Here’s what I mean in my own most personal of terms.
My life story is divided into two parts: a fear story and a love story. A sin story and a salvation story. A Good Friday story and an Easter story.
The sin I am saved from is what I call “fearful control.” Meaning what? When I experience the loss of control in some realm of my life’s desire and/or expectation, I feel fear. It is my body’s own reaction to the stressors of life. My body then demands that my mind decide how to take control over other people and situations and save myself from my own fear. As my mind engages my body and places its faith in my body’s fears, my mind disengages from my soul and places its doubt in my soul’s love. My mind seeks to take control over the world around me, and in so doing I find myself losing my loving influence in relation to this same world. My fear story acts to defeat my love story in competition for my faith, my truth, my reality.
So why am I calling this my sin? Why is “fearful control” something I need to be saved from?
Because my sin separates me from the God who casts out fear by means of perfect love. Or, more to this day’s point, the crucified God who cast out his own Good Friday fear by means of his own Easter love. The perfect love that rolled away fear’s heaviest stone, that cast away sin’s fear of punishment (I John 4:18). And when I sinfully and fearfully act to control the world around me, I separate myself from the influential but uncontrolling God whose Easter love casts out all sin. Easter love restores (re-stories) me and atones (at-ones) me with the God whose uncontrolling love my fear had cast out.
My life’s fear story is my sin story. My work of fearful control is what Christ died to save me “from.” My life’s love story is what Christ was raised to save me “for.” That I might offer my loving influence with others after the example of the crucified Christ, taking up my own cross and following his example by letting my fearful control die that my loving influence might rise.
It's the reason I celebrate this Good Friday 2019.
And it’s the reason I ask you this same question: What are you saved from and for?