One of the most resplendent crowns which shall rest on the head of our Lord Jesus Christ is that of Saviour. Beside His name none other is given under heaven whereby men must be saved (Acts 4:12), and so we read: “He that believes on Him is not condemned: but he that believes not is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” (John 3:18). The refusal of His name is fatal. We may well thank God for that name as we remember how that He “so loved the world as to give His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). May we lay hold of the fact that the heart of God the Father is the fountainhead of the river of saving grace; thence it flows in measureless fullness over a world alienated from God, so that all and any who are conscious of their lost condition may, by faith in His Son, become the recipients, here and now, of all that grace can give—possessors of everlasting life! But this grace must reach us on grounds of absolute righteousness. The throne itself would be outraged were its just claims not perfectly met and satisfied; and seeing that this could never be accomplished by the creature already powerless and guilty, it must be rendered by One fully competent to do so. Him we find in the Son of God! He is the divinely provided ransom. God Himself has provided a lamb for a burnt-offering. Here, then, we start. This is our foundation; it is solid and sure, and clean outside all that is of man. We can freely speak of a Saviour-God! He loved and He gave, and the given One came willingly to do all that was charged upon Him. But if this should be on the side of God, what is there on that of man? There is, alas! only the sin that necessitated grace so boundless.
Sin? Yes. And what is sin? Its nature is questioned today. It is vainly explained away; but none the less it remains in its undiminished virulence and universality. Neither has philosophy, nor civilization, nor education, nor science, nor any human device that the clever brain of man has invented, removed sin from the heart, or its dire consequence of death, and the grave, and the judgment beyond, from the race of fallen, guilty men. There it is, as patent and potent today as ever; so that he who denies it is blind, or worse.
Let us get on to this bed-rock truth, else salvation means nothing and a Saviour is a mere sentiment.
God declares that “all the world is guilty before Him” (Rom. 3:19), that it “lies in wickedness” (1 John 5:19), and that “Satan deceives the whole world” (Rev. 12:9). The cross was its moral judgment (John 12:31). So much for the mass; but, personally, “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” The power and poison of sin are rampant in every department of life, in every sphere and circle and bosom. These vast cemeteries bear mighty witness. “Death has passed on all men, for that all have sinned” (Rom. 5:12).
What, then, is sin? It may be seen in a thousand aggravated and sickening forms, from murder to a thought of foolishness (Mark 7:21-22); but notice, “the movement of a heart in opposition to the will of God is sin.” Who can escape here?
Hence the Lord said to certain accusers, “Let him that is without sin first cast a stone at her” (John 8:7). Needless to say, no hand dare cast a stone. Every man was guilty of some sin; none was, nor is, nor can be “without sin.”
The crying need of the day is a true sense of sin, and therefore of humiliation and repentance before God. Always so, but perhaps more truly now than ever; and if so, woe to those who minimize the gravity of sin and its certain and eternal judgment.
This clears the way for God’s salvation. And what is that? Nay, who is that? It is Christ Himself! “Mine eves have seen Thy salvation,” said Simeon as he held the infant Redeemer in his arms.
Never can that salvation be understood until it is seen to be embodied in the person of our Lord Jesus Christ, as dead, and risen, and glorified.
His death was necessary for expiation, and His blood alone, but fully, can cleanse from sin.
His resurrection from the dead was also necessary as proof of the work of atonement done and no more sacrifice required. By one offering He has perfected for ever them that are sanctified (Heb. 10:14).
And His ascension was necessary, that He might send down the Holy Spirit to give effect to His work and seal for eternal blessing the souls of all who believe. Oh, lay hold of the deep meaning of the words “one offering.” Let that offering stand before your eye in its absolute all-sufficiency. Think who it was that was offered! Remember the cup He drank and the curse He bore! Ponder the love that led Him into such fathomless depths! View Him as the sinless Son of Man who obeyed to the letter, and who alone glorified God where all else had failed! Smite your breast as you behold the sight of Calvary! Learn the love of Christ that passeth knowledge! See the whole awful question of your sins and sin, your guilt and state, settled in His death, so that you, delivered from every thrall and fear, at cost so infinite, might love Him in return, and serve and follow and worship Him, until, by His side, you see the crown of your salvation on His glorious brow for ever.