What Kind of Savior Is Jesus?
by Dr. Sandra Glahn
Every year my friend Greta reads at least fifty books. One year she finished her fiftieth with only an hour to spare! She reads from the bestseller list, and from classics. She reads nonfiction, and she reads novels. I love talking to her, because she can quote Homer of Ionia in the same sentence in which she mentions Homer Simpson.
One year Greta and her husband chose to read texts from classic sermons. Later, when they compared notes, they realized they were both captivated by the same message of Jonathan Edwards, preached in 1746. He titled it “The Excellency of Christ,” and here’s the paragraph that stood out to them:
“What is there that you can desire should be in a Savior that is not in Christ? Or, wherein should you desire a Savior should be otherwise than Christ is? What excellency is there wanting? What is there that is great or good? What is there that is venerable or winning? What is there that is adorable or endearing? Or, what can you think of, that would be encouraging, that is not to be found in the person of Christ? . . . What is there wanting, or what would you add if you could, to make him more fit to be your Savior?”
“I've been thinking about it ever since,” Greta told me. “Everything I need my Savior to be, Christ is or has been. Holy? Check. Human? Check. Loving? Check. Near to God? Check. Check. Check. Check. Check. Check. What a joyful comfort to my soul that my Savior is so incredibly and completely everything I need.”
Last summer as I immersed myself in the Gospel of Luke, I found myself adding to the list of the kind of Savior Jesus is. Approachable (Luke 18:15–17)? Check. Forgiving (Luke 1:76–77)? Check. Able to overpower evil forces (Luke 11:14)? Check. Reconciler (Luke 15:31)? Check. Includer of “outsiders” (Luke 10:25–37)? Check. Conqueror of sin (Luke 5–8)? Check. Master teacher (Luke 13–16)? Check. Humble king (Luke 17–20)? Check. Risen from the dead (Luke 24)? Check squared. Check cubed. Exponential check. Check to the checked power.
Our Savior and His story are as good as it gets. Truly, what is there that we could desire in a Savior that is not in Christ? Even the best fiction that human minds could construe becomes reality and literally walks on water in the person of Jesus Christ. The King leaves the throne room, He becomes like His pauper subjects, and He dies on their behalf. Then He proves He is stronger than death by coming back to life, adopts the paupers as His children, and—riding on a white horse—conquers all His enemies until all the kingdoms of the world acknowledge Him as “King of kings and Lord of lords” (Revelation 19:16).
We can get a head start on that day by recognizing, even now, who Jesus is and offering Him our wholehearted worship.
Dr. Sandra Glahn is Professor of Media Arts and Worship at Dallas Theological Seminary. She is the multi-published author of the Coffee Cup Bible Study series, the most recent of which is Latte with Luke. You can find her on her web site at aspire2.com, on Facebook at /aspire2 and on Twitter @SandraGlahn