Jesus is the Suffering Savior

He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. … He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities, the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. – Isaiah 53:3,5

Greeting cards contain words that are chosen very carefully. They are meaningful words of love and affection. Sometimes when we are sending a card to someone, we might even agonize over which one to select. We want to choose the right words that express the love we have.

How about the words printed above by the prophet Isaiah? Would you include any of his words in a card to your loved one? At first thought you would say, “Absolutely not!” Words like “despised…rejected…sorrows…suffering…punishment” would be the last choices for a such a card! But the Bible surprises us. These words from God are really a wonderful expression of his true love for people.

The first thing to understand is that Isaiah was writing about Jesus. Jesus, God’s Son, was sent to earth to be the world’s Savior. The Bible tells us that because of sin there was punishment looming for all people. But Jesus took that punishment on himself. Jesus is our Savior who suffered for sinners. He took all this suffering on himself, including death on a cross, so that people wouldn’t suffer eternally.

The second thing to remember is that we are talking about something very personal to all of us. We were the ones Jesus came to suffer for. We were the ones who were headed to the punishment of eternal separation from God. Our sinful thoughts, words, and actions condemned us. But as the prophet wrote, “He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities, the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.”

Jesus’ love for us is deep and long-lasting. It’s much more than the love that we might receive from others, or a love that is here today and gone tomorrow. Jesus’ love is eternal. He promises that since he suffered and gave up his life for us, he will continue to love us each and every day.

Every time you open the Bible it’s like receiving a card from One who loves you very much. These are God’s words of love for you.

Jesus is my Savior by Faith

“Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.” – Mark 15:16

In many places, June ushers in warmer weather. Summer begins in earnest, and that means people like to be outside and enjoy the warm temperatures. One activity that many enjoy is swimming. It might be a backyard pool, a community pool or beach, or even a lawn sprinkler. Whatever the method, people love to get wet.

Followers of Jesus get wet too, when they are baptized. Baptism is a wonderful gift of God where water is applied and the words are spoken as Jesus commanded, “I baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19). When those words and the water are combined like this, according to Jesus’ promise, baptisms take place. Through this special means, God creates faith in people—infant or adult. Sins are washed away, and by faith in Jesus God makes them members of his family.

After baptism, learning continues so that people grow in their faith and grow closer to God for the confidence and joy of life with God both now and forever. There is much to learn and know in the Bible. It guides us. It refreshes us. And its message saves us! It is the “living water” (John 4:10) that Jesus gives us. Much more refreshing than any pool or beach or sprinkler! It quenches our thirst for belonging to God, for truth about God, and for true peace with God. The Word of God creates and strengthens faith in Jesus as our Savior.

Without faith in Jesus, people will be “condemned,” that is, lost forever in hell when they die. As Christians, we seek to invite everyone to hear Jesus’ message and be baptized, so hell is not their destiny. This is because Jesus told us to baptize and teach, so that people can have saving faith and will enjoy heaven when they die.

Many people think of summer as a gift, when we have rest and relaxation. But the real gift that lasts forever—no matter the weather—is the gift of faith in Jesus that comes through baptism and God’s Word!

Jesus is the One and Only Savior

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. – John 1:14

People commonly set goals to lose weight and improve fitness. There are various ways they seek to reach that goal. Some strive to improve their diet, either eating smaller portions or switching to healthier foods. Others focus more on exercise, building up their strength or following a cardio workout plan. Picking any or all of those options can help a person reach a weight loss and fitness goal.

There is a certain goal, however, that has only one way to reach it. If the goal that you want to obtain is eternal life in heaven, the one and only way to reach that goal is through Jesus. Jesus is the world’s one and only Savior.

Many people disagree with that. The common thought is that there are many ways to reach the goal of heaven and eternal life. Many consider Jesus to be one option of many.

But Jesus didn’t come to be a path; he came to be the path. Jesus didn’t come to show us how we could obtain heaven by ourselves; he came to show us his glory and to be our Savior.

Goals for reaching a healthier lifestyle are often abandoned. We know how weak we can be. But Jesus is true God who came from heaven. Yes, he became human like us, yet he was without our weaknesses and he was without our sin. His great love caused him to leave heaven and dwell among us. He came to take away our sins by giving his own life as the payment for our sins. Calling us to be his followers by trusting him as our Savior, he freely gives us the gift of heaven and eternal life.

Following Jesus isn’t like so many other goals that we abandon after a brief period of time. To follow him is a goal for our lifetime. Having seen the true beauty and glory of the world’s one and only Savior, we can’t help but want to learn more and grow in the knowledge of Jesus, the world’s one and only Savior.