The Greatest "Saver" of all Time (NKJV)
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- Format: Folded Tract
- Paper: Gloss Text
- Size: 3.5 inches x 5.5 inches
- Pages: 4
- Version: NKJV
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New York Yankee closer Mariano Rivera recently recorded “save” 602 to become known as the greatest reliever of all time. Mariano, a Baptist minister, commendably thanked God 13 times in post game interviews and so I know he would agree totally with what I’m about to write.
You see, Mariano often gets credited with “saves” but they are nothing in comparison to the “saves” made by his Savior and mine, the Lord Jesus Christ. Mariano comes in when his team is ahead and merely preserves (“saves”) a victory for his team. The Lord Jesus Christ comes in when things look bleakest and “saves” those sinners who are lost, not “winning.”
The greatest example of His saving power is that thief who was crucified with Jesus and got saved from Hell in the final minutes of his life. In Luke 23:39-43, we read these words….
“Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, ‘If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us.’ But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying ‘Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong.’ Then he said to Jesus, ‘Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.’ And Jesus said to him, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.’ ”
Clearly, the one thief repented. He admitted he was “getting what he deserved,” that he was a thief and deserved to be crucified according to the laws of the land. If you look earlier in the passage, he started out mocking Jesus also, but Jesus was working in his heart to change his heart from one who hated Him to one who loved Him. The penitent thief also defended Jesus, saying that He (Jesus) did nothing wrong. This sinner now saw that Jesus was different than the two of them (and all of us)—He was sinless.
The penitent thief was different now: he had faith. Boy, did he have faith!! He said to the dying Son of God, in His moment of apparent weakness and helplessness and suffering, “Lord, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” By faith, this one thief saw that Jesus was God, that He is a King, that He has a kingdom … all while Jesus was hanging on a cross next to him, dying.
Clearly, this man got saved right in the final minutes of his life. He repented, he prayed, in essence asking for forgiveness. He witnessed to the other thief. And, he had faith. All of these things show that Jesus “took away his heart of stone” and gave him “a heart of flesh” right then and there (Ezekiel 36:26). What was Jesus’ response to this thief, who had miraculously become a new creation? “Assuredly,” He told this penitent thief, “today you will be with Me in Paradise.” In other words, Jesus showed He was ready, willing, and able to save him, this worst of sinners. Jesus was affirming that the man had already been saved, that he now had the fruits of true, saving faith.
When Mariano Rivera comes in to “save” a game, he is always in tip-top physical condition, but Jesus saved a dying man while He, Himself, was dying the most horrible form of death imaginable. Are you one who glories in what Mariano has done, but has never personally partaken of what Jesus can do? Or, do you think you are too far gone, too sinful to be saved? If Jesus could save this dying thief who mocked him, he can save anyone—but don’t wait until you see death approaching before you cry out to The Greatest “Saver”—do it today!
You may not have the advantage of seeing death approaching. I close with these three verses, all from the Lips of Jesus Himself, which prove that He is ready, willing and able to save you and I urge you to be saved today!
Jesus is READY to save: He said “Come to Me, all you who are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).
Jesus is WILLING to save: He said “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will in no wise cast out” (John 6:37).
Jesus is ABLE to save: He said “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). Copyright 2011 by Chet Jelinski