Because the World Needs a Savior

Christmas and New Year. Seasons of love, joy, hope, and cheer. For many of us, it is a favorite time of the year. Sadly though, in all the hustle and bustle, fun and frolic, we seem to forget the sobering realities of the ones around us and perhaps even among us who might dread the dawn of another day, let alone another year. All is not well for those mourning the loss of a loved one, for those battling chronic illnesses, for those struggling to repay debts, for those whose marriages are breaking.

At a global level it is even more disturbing. There are wars, rumors of wars, earthquakes, tsunamis, typhoons, forest fires, epidemic outbreaks, drought, poverty, global warming, and on and on. The lofty promises and feeble attempts of geo-political messiahs, economic wizards, and health-care champions are so disproportionate to the magnitude of the crisis.

As mere mortals struggling to fix cosmic problems with earthy interventions, we do well to admit aloud that we need a sort of help that is far bigger than anything we are able to create with our own hands or minds. We need help from the Maker of the cosmos, who has the wherewithal to remedy this god-sized, human cosmic catastrophe.

The Apostle Peter, writing in the thick of intense persecution, suggests to the fledgling early Church struggling under the tyranny of an eccentric Nero to set apart and to revere Christ as Lord, the one born in Bethlehem of a virgin, the child and king foretold by the prophets. This is Christ the Lord. He then adds the exhortation: Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have, but do this with gentleness and respect.

The antidote to hopeless and despair, says Peter, is to recognize the God-sent Savior, Jesus Christ, and to revere him as Lord. The Son of God became the Son of Man, so that the sons and daughters of humankind, could become the sons and daughters of God. Christ Jesus is the one who unlocks the possibility for hope in this otherwise hope-impoverished world. Jesus Christ is the all-sufficient hope for us. And he is a hope the size of every agony and death, the size of all of humankind and all creation.

Peter then carries this thought outward. If Christ is Lord indeed, those who follow him ought to be agents of hope in this world that is so desperately searching for hope. The church ought to position ourselves in the right places, to be harbingers of hope in a desperate world, offering Christ himself. Paul admonishes these persecuted believers in the fledgling early church to possess, process, and proclaim this hope, this child born in the midst of darkness, the proclamation that there is light that shines and will not be overcome. And the same is true for the church today in this world searching for hope in all the wrong places. Will Christ’s followers in this new year multiply hope in the world?

We live in a world that is wounded, hurt, and broken. Hurting people, tend to hurt others. Jesus invites these cycles to be broken. Can we respond with gentleness and respect, with and without words, even when treated spitefully? Can we present Christ as light and life in a dark world? Can we multiply hope in a world that needs a savior? Christ is the gift of hope in whom these questions find their answer.

This new year, might we be filled with hope.

Charles Premkumar Joseph is a member of the speaking and writing team at Ravi Zacharias International Ministries in Mumbai, India.

"A Slice of Infinity" is aimed at reaching into the culture with words of challenge, truth, and hope. By stirring the imagination and engaging the mind, we want to share the beauty and truthfulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

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