"...a Savior has been born." Luke 2:11
The significance of the title given to Jesus by the angel at the time of His birth is essential to understanding the purpose of His life and death. 'Savior' can also be translated as 'deliverer' or 'rescuer'. Like a lifeguard who delivers those from the dangers of rip currents and possible drowning, so Jesus is the Lifeguard Who descended from heaven's throne to earth (see Philippians 2).
The lifeguard sits on an elevated stand to keep watch for those who may have unknowingly been caught in the rip currents along the coast. People caught in these treacherous undercurrents don't realize the increasing danger they are in until it's too late. An alert lifeguard recognizes the warning signs of those in distress and takes action to save a life from drowning, often at great risk to his or her own life. Those who venture into the ocean of life without the watch-care of the ever vigilant Lifeguard are often caught in the undercurrents of greed, anger, remorse, guilt, deception, and confusion.
On January 13, 1082, an Air Florida Boeing 727 plunged into the Potomac River only two miles from the White House. The crash, caused by bad weather and pilot error resulted in the loss of seventy-eight people on board. However, there were five survivors. Two people emerged as heroes in the aftermath of the tragedy: Arland Williams and Lenny Skutnik. Known as 'the sixth passenger', Williams, survived the crash, but passed a rescue helicoptor's life ring on to others rather than take one for himself. He ended up being the only passenger to die from drowning. The 1957 Citadel grad was a federal bank examiner from Mattoon, Illinois, and he passed-up his own rescue opportunity five times before going under the water. When one of the survivors was unable to hold on to the lifeline given by Williams, Skutnik, who had approached the area to witness the unfolding drama, jumped into the frigid water and swam to rescue her. Both Skutnik and Williams (along with another bystander, Roger Olian) received the Coast Guard Gold Lifesaving Medal. the bridge was later renamed the Arland D. Williams, Jr. Memorial Bridge.
We admire such heroic actions by others, should we not all the more cherish the actions of the One Who suffered the cross for us? Why did He endure the insults, the abuse, the lashings, the agony of the cross? He suffered and died in our place on Golgotha's hill. It was our sin that had separated us from God, and for which Christ died on the cross. The bible describes sin as rebellion against God and His way and, because God is perfect light, He does not share the space with darkness. In fact, light disperses darkness. Our rebellion against God's way is a dynamic that has been bred in the human race since Adam and Eve refused to follow God's way in the Garden of Eden. Think about it... when was the last time you had to teach a two year old child to say 'no'.
Sin wants to reign in our bodies, but Jesus died that, while we were sinners, He might give us power to overcome sin's destructive power and live lives that shine His light. (see Romans 5:8)
Let your light shine today... let God use you in rescuing a soul drowning in life's turmoil.