Saved From What – or Whom?

Are you saved? To a lot of Christians, this seems to be their primary concern and the biggest, most important question to ask friends or strangers. If the answer is yes, they breathe a sigh of relief and go their merry way. If the answer is no, then they might go on an all-out campaign to ensure their salvation.

I began thinking about this after reading a devotional on a popular Bible reading app. The author believes we will only be granted entry into God’s new earth, a flawless new Garden of Eden, if we live a life pleasing to God. If we don’t please him, we will end up in hell. This bothered me for several days as it dawned on me that this author, and many others, must on some level (consciously or not), believe the one they need saving from is an angry God.

But let’s think about this belief and all it implies about who God is. Let’s say God really is upset about how we humans have misbehaved all these centuries, so mad that he could blow his top at any moment. But he must have had a soft spot for us in spite of our sins and rebellion because he sent his own son to die for us, to appease his wrath if you will. Apparently this was the only way to calm him down from his rage. If that’s how it happened, it would mean God sent himself to save us from himself! Can you imagine the conversation the Father, Son and Holy Spirit might have had?

Father: I’m so mad at those people I could just spit. Maybe I should kill them all.

Son: Aw, don’t be mad at them, they’re just weak. They can’t help themselves. After all, they’re only human. Let me go down and take care of everything.

Father: OK, but you’ll have to die for them. That’s the only thing that will satisfy my anger.

Son: Well, if that’s the only way.

Father: Yes, son, I’m afraid it is. You’d better make it quick. I’m not sure how long I can control myself.

Holy Spirit: I’ll help. I’ll make sure he gets through it. I know, we’ll stage a resurrection!

Yes, I know, I’m being silly, but that’s how the whole idea strikes me – silly. God didn’t send himself to save us from himself. Father, Son and Holy Spirit together sent the Son to lay down his life for his friends – us – to save us from ourselves. Jesus saved us from sin and death and all the ugly consequences of going our own way and turning our backs on his love.

What a wonderful day when everyone will understand how much God loves us and how his love is what sent Jesus to the cross, not his anger.

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