A Weird Way to Save the World

thornsAnd this is one of the most crucial definitions for the whole of Christianity; that the opposite of sin is not virtue but faith. ― Søren Kierkegaard, The Sickness Unto Death

That the opposite of sin isn't doing good or being good; rather it’s trusting Jesus.

That’s a weird idea.

That when I screw up and do something that’s selfish and hurtful, it doesn’t mean that I need to make myself into a better person; but that I am a person who is in need of a Saviour.

Jesus saves us from all our selfish, destructive ways not by glaring at us and threatening us with what will happen if we don’t start to get our stuff together.

Instead, it seems like he’s always trying to lead us on paths that lead to life rather than paths that end up in us getting the same, normal results everybody else gets in life.

Instead of saying “stop doing that or else”, it seems like Jesus says “stop doing that, because I’ve got a better way”.

Jesus shows us this narrow path by the way he lived his own life. He was the Son of God, yet he didn’t show up demanding to be treated like a king.

There’s a great story in the book written by one of Jesus’ closest followers, John that highlights this:

“Jesus knew that the Father had given him authority over everything and that he had come from God and would return to God. So he got up from the table, took off his robe, wrapped a towel around his waist, and poured water into a basin. Then he began to wash the disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel he had around him.” (John 13:3-5)

Jesus knew he had been given authority over everything, and yet here he is, washing the dirty feet of a group of men, one of which was going to betray Jesus.

He didn’t use that authority to dominate or control or bully. He knew he had it, and he chose to serve. That’s definitely weird.

At the end of that story, Jesus tells his disciples “I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you.” (v. 15)

Jesus saved me.

From my sin.

From a life of anger and hopelessness

And ultimately, from death itself.

He saved me by serving and sacrificing. That’s a weird way to save the world, and I’ll never be able to adequately express my gratitude for it.

But I want my life to be a response to his great love.

So I will worship God with my heart as I sing of his great love.

I will worship God with my mind as I think of the things he has done.

I will worship God with my soul as I invite God into the center of all that I am.

And I will worship God with my strength as I go out into my community and my world and share his great love through my actions.

Because if Jesus can bring salvation through serving and sacrifice, then I know I can point to that salvation through doing the same things.