the affirmation series//why do i need a savior?
last week i poured out my brief thoughts on how the Gospels can be trusted to give us insight into who Jesus is.
this week i'll be expanding a bit by explaining how i came to understand why He had to come in the first place.
why we need a savior.
there is absolutely no question that our world is full of pain, sadness and tragedy. it seems like each day presents a new top news story that easily competes with the day before. we find ourselves throwing up our hands in disgust or prayer. we find ourselves asking "what is the world coming to?"
truth is, this has been done before. God watched His creation come to be so evil that He went to great lengths to punish His children in hopes of bringing them back. but sin after sin led them even further away from Him. He flooded the earth and attempted a fresh start, but still His children rebelled. several wars and kings and false gods passed until one night, a baby was born to two terrified teenagers in a barn in Bethlehem.
this was the beginning of a blessed end.
we are at the end of the reign of evil and the dawn of the new Heaven He promised. but in order for us to make it, we need to be redeemed. in our history we have not exactly proven competent of achieving this status on our own.
as an atheist i was wholly offended at the thought of my very nature being so bad that i was doomed to an eternity of suffering without paying for it. i could not understand the concept of being born only to die.. unless i chose otherwise. it's amazing how given the option, i fought it. more than fighting that Jesus was a real person, i fought that He was God in the flesh. i fought His claim to divinity. now, being a Christian i fight to live by that truth instead of the lies we've been fed by the world.
we need a savior because we were created by God, in His image, and we separated ourselves from the goodness He granted us.
we need a savior because we did it to ourselves..
we need a savior because we did it to ourselves..
as an atheist I believed I existed by science's standards alone.
i was enthralled by the evolution stories, completely taken by the progression of details in skeletons as they were laid side by side in "chronological" order, and then used as a timeline to measure humanity's progress. i was convinced that monkeys were my ancestry, and my existence was the result of happenstance. but as i searched i seemed to find enough information to not only squash this belief, but adhere to a new one.
that i was created.
i read many academic articles that explained what a great stretch it was to fully believe in evolution. it is still a theory, after all. though i had unanswered questions about Christianity, i also had many unanswered questions about evolution. most of them fall inside three main questions, and this is most certainly not an exhaustive list.
why isn't evolution happening now?
mentally: are we really the most evolved and amazing pieces of creation on the planet? we eat poison because it's labeled food and live off of molded plastic objects manufactured by marginalized women and children in foreign countries. looking back at what the Mayans and Babylonians accomplished, I'd say we have actually de-evolved.
anatomically: if we are supposed to be such great meat-eaters, why haven't we evolved to grow sharper teeth? and for those people living in intense cold climates, why haven't they evolved to need less gear for survival?
in community: if we evolved from such community-oriented animals such as primates, why aren't we more community-oriented? why haven't we found a way to break down picket fences and, at the very least, share a four person table at a restaurant when two people are left to wait while we eat alone?
why do we all have a deep need to know something, if we haven't evolved to be able to find it?
morals: we know right from wrong, and yet, there are still tragedies happening between humans everyday. how is it that if only the strong survive we haven't been able to advance as a peaceful community? aren't love and compassion and humility all traits that prove to be more beneficial to a pack or herd than say, murder, selfishness and separation?
identity: virtually everyone has the ability to work, and earn a wage. though the freedom to earn a living is unquestionably good, it's common to find more dissatisfied people in the workplace than many other areas. most times, people are taking stock of their workweek and comparing that to either what they did not make, or what they missed out on in regard to quality time with loved ones. people know they were meant for more.
these questions may make you laugh (especially if you are an atheist) but i assure you i asked them and actually believed in all of the reasons provided to squash them. reasons like "evolution happens too slowly for us to see," or "we didn't grow excess body hair because we are meant to be adaptable for the future," and even "selfishness is a characteristic of true strength..." yadda yadda. these kept me distracted, but never truly satisfied me. i was not afraid of the scientific jargon, refused to be spoonfed the theories, and i continued to seek. though i fell off of the evolution bandwagon, i still wasn't sold on Christianity until a couple years later.
in that time i attempted to understand how we were created to be perfect but left to be evil at the same time. and that final collection of questions regarding our need for a savior was connected to one unexplainable activity:
why did the Good News emerge as something people began to believe in rather than the historical accounts of the thousands of other kings that are strewn throughout history?
why was this event, this man's life and death, so shockingly incredible that it became a movement? He was only a carpenter, and only lived a short time. He had very little power, and claimed things that eventually had Him killed. He was beyond average, but completely radical at the same time. Jesus was someone that should have been labeled a crazy person for years to come.. not exalted as a Savior. i assumed all along that Jesus' friends were lying to make Him appear greater than He was.
but thanks to historians such as Titus Flavius Josephus, John the Evangelist, Lucian the Greek rhetorician and more, i found accounts of Jesus that were recorded by men who held positions of influence and integrity. many of these historians were not personally involved with Jesus' group or of Christianity at all, and had no reason to either uphold the claims or cut them down. what is recorded is pretty much deemed objective across the board and some of our earliest evidence of the post-crucifixion followers' claims.
so the people that followed Jesus did have reason to lie... they could have lied and saved their lives. but instead, they claimed witness to miracles, recited teachings and parables, and not only did they accept their fate, but they made sure to spend their entire lives sharing what they knew. they died for what they witnessed and believed to be true.
the real lie is what we are living as we are separated from God, believing that there are no consequences and there is no afterlife. if we are just a bowl of primordial soup it wouldn't matter what we did right or wrong. but the accounts that surround Jesus' life the claims of creation only grow stronger and the arguments for evolution seem out of touch. it's more than just looking at carbon chart and comparing fossils; it's looking inside at the very basic human needs and noting what is missing in the hearts of billions of people.
what are some of the questions you ask with regard to our need for a Savior?
how have you come to understand our origin by design?