What does Christian salvation mean
When we have to see tidal waves sweeping away regions and people, earthquakes devouring villages and destroying cities, peoples sinking into civil war, inventions turned against the inventors themselves or nuclear reactors exploding, then it is clear what people mean when they do pray: “Deliver us from evil!” After much or even most of the news that reaches us every day through the media, this request could be repeated. Added to this is the suffering that people personally bear and have to endure. How often is in Have you made this request to hospitals and old people's homes?
Science, politics, medicine or aid organizations try to master suffering and evil. But all of them come up against their limits again and again or very soon. The questions remain: Why can we not cope with suffering? Why is there suffering at all in this world (àTheodizee)? Why do people fail to shape their coexistence in such a way that they do not constantly hurt, threaten, and even destroy one another?
In this need people call to God, who may turn things around. This is how the call in Psalm 63: 2 f. Is to be understood:
“God, you my God, I am looking for you, my soul thirsts for you.
My body pines for you like arid, thirsting land without water.
That's why I'm looking for you in the sanctuary
to see your power and glory.
For your grace is better than life;
therefore my lips praise you. "
God "helps" people, "stands by" and "saves" them. These are the words used to describe itOld testamentthe experience of the individual and the whole people of Israel that God does not leave people alone, but frees them from dangers and painful life situations.
Above all, to this day the Jews celebrate the experience of how God freed the people from slavery in Egypt. He led them through the Red Sea and drowned the enemy in it. God bought the people out of slavery, so to speak, and then made a covenant with them on Sinai. "I am the Lord your God, who brought you up out of Egypt." (E.g. Ps 81:11) This formula is repeated over and over again in the writings of the Old Testament. The second decisive experience that God redeems and liberates, is the homecoming of the people from captivity in Babylonian exile.
God not only redeems people from external needs and constraints, but also frees and cleanses people's hearts (Ez 11:19, 36.26 f.). Because people contribute to the fact that misfortune happens to them. They sin against each other and before God and are guilty of guilt. Sin and guilt are the real burden that people suffer.
At the heart of theNew Testament stands Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who proclaims that the kingdom of God has dawned. God sends his Son to save and redeem the world. As a sign of a new beginning, Jesus frees people from their illnesses and brings them back into the community when they are outcast or on the edge. He redeems them from suffering and loneliness. He forgives them their sins and thereby reconciles them with one another and with God.
Jesus is so serious about his message that he accepts death on the cross for it, which, however, will be overcome in the resurrection at Easter. The Savior, Jesus Christ, should share people's deepest and most painful experiences so that it becomes clear that God goes with them in all situations of life and death, even where people cannot understand the meaning of their suffering.
The cross thus becomes the ultimate sign of redemption and hope for all times. When people hang crosses in their homes, they are documenting their belief that salvation through Jesus Christ is effective. Those crosses in the houses signal that Christians are letting the message of Jesus into their lives and taking their faith seriously.
In reflecting on the New Testament writings, especially in the writings of St. Paul, it becomes clear that ultimately only God can give redemption and deliverance. Man can prepare himself for the kingdom of God, but he cannot work for it or buy it.
A look at people's lives shows that redemption through Jesus Christ is a great promise, but that it is still outstanding in all its fullness. Every day we painfully feel that human interaction is not successful enough. People struggle, but sin and guilt remain constant companions. This makes it clear that the redemption through Jesus Christ is connected with a lasting mandate: In following Jesus it is important to continuously work towards a redeemed world.
Christians try to become like Jesus Christ in their attitude and behavior and thereby pave the way for the "Kingdom of God". They can be happy if this succeeds again and again: in the service of people, in care and preservation of creation, in the support of culture and science, in the development of a creative technique that makes people's lives easier.
But there is also the experience that efforts fail, the community fails, strife and war seem inevitable, creation is damaged. In this the tension becomes clear that on the one hand the kingdom of God and the redemption are already there, but at the same time it is still pending and must always be requested anew from God. That is why the Christian community prays in the middle of their Sunday gathering, the Eucharistic celebration: "We proclaim your death, O Lord, and we praise your resurrection - until you come in glory!"
let me call out
from the graves of my life
and the burial chambers
my own small, narrow world of imagination
what narrows and hinders life
and me dead in spite of all
let call into life
set off freely
and walk towards the newly given hope
(from: Spurensuche.info - with the permission of the website operator "Spurensuche")
Author (s): Hubertus Brantzen
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