He Saved Others

On the darkest day of Jesus’ incarnated life amongst men on earth, at 9 a.m. at Calvary, the Jews who demanded His death stood watching Him suffer to the end.  The crowd jeered and cheered as the cross was plunged into the hole on the hill where Jesus, sinless Son of God, bore in His body the sins of the world, tasting death for every man. It was a sordid scene. Only a handful of His followers were able to endure the sight. But many of the Jews, including their chief priests, watched with pleasure until Jesus gave up the ghost.  Toward the end of the six suffering hours on the cross, they cried in jest, “Save Thyself, and come down from the cross…He saved others, Himself He cannot save.” (Mark 15:30, 31).

He saved others. Matthew and Mark record those words, but Mark is more specific, telling his readers that “Likewise the chief priests mocking said among themselves with the scribes, He saved others; Himself He cannot save.” Those same mockers knew that they could save no one. They also knew that Jesus could save anyone, as He had demonstrated, time and again, right before their very eyes. Pilate, the Roman governor who released Jesus to the crowd for crucifixion, knew that it was for envy that the chief priests clamored for crucifixion: “For he (Pilate) knew that the chief priests had delivered him for envy.” (Mark 15:10; Matt. 27:18) The religious leaders could save no one—and Jesus could save anyone who willed to be saved. Thus, the envy and the crucifixion! He saved others!

In His dying hours, He saved the penitent thief hanging on one of the two crosses that flanked the center cross upon which Jesus was crucified. Luke, in his gospel account of that dark deed, tells us that one of the malefactors hanging beside Jesus, having acknowledged his sin and guilt, said “Lord, remember me when Thou comest into Thy kingdom.” (Luke 23:42). Jesus then assured the penitent sinner: “Verily I say unto thee, today shalt thou be with Me in paradise.” Soon after those words were uttered, Mark says that Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Father, into Thy hands I commend my spirit.” The last thing the seeking Savior of the world did in His incarnate flesh was to save a soul from the eternal Hell to which he had been heading!  He saved others!

His resurrected body, on the first day of the week, having been entombed for three days and three nights, was seen first by Mary Magdalene. She was the woman from who Jesus had cast out seven devils, her life having been dominated by the Devil and his demons until she met Jesus.  He first appeared in His scarred, risen body to show this devoted follower of His that death could not hold Him, and that He was a “first fruit” proof of the fact that there would be more resurrections to follow.  Mary was the first to break the news to the cloistered eleven chosen apostles that, indeed, Christ had risen from the dead. What an undeniable testament to the truth in the person of this once demon-dominated woman: He saved others!

Then, early in His ministry, the despised Jewish tax collector Mathew, working for the Roman government—and cheating his way to prosperity at the expense of his fellow countrymen—heard Jesus say those two powerful words one day, “Follow Me.” Matthew responded and, instantly, he was converted to Christ, to freedom, forgiveness, and faith—an irrefutable, undeniable, living proof that He saved others! Jesus would later do the same thing when another tax collector, Zacchaeus, “chief among the publicans,” was saved by faith when Jesus entered Jericho, where this notorious wealthy cheat lived and practiced his double-dealing trade of lining his pockets with money that was over and above what he was required to send to Rome.  When Jesus met this man, perched above the crowd on a branch of a sycamore tree, He said, “Zacchaeus, make haste and come down; for today I must abide at thy house.” (Luke 19:5) And abide He did! Before the day was over, our Lord proclaimed, “This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” (Luke 19:9, 10) And save He did! Zacchaeus, despised and declared a publican, but recognized by Jesus as a candidate for salvation, repented and believed that day, much as Abraham, a Jewish forefather, did centuries earlier. (Romans 4:3) He saved others!

And how about the demoniac of Gadara, who—so full of devils that he was known as Legion—lived in the mountains and tombs because no chains could bind him and no man could tame him; yet, when he first laid eyes upon Jesus, he ran and worshipped Him. Surely, this possessed person could not—would not—be saved. But, moments after that initial encounter, Jesus cast the devils out of the bedeviled. Soon thereafter, the man was seen sitting clothed and in his right mind—having been instantly converted to Christ through faith. He petitioned his newly found Savior to let him follow Him, but Jesus told him that he could do kingdom work right there where he had been considered by his fellow townspeople to be a hopeless case. All of this is carefully documented by Mark in the 5th chapter of his gospel account of the life and labors of Jesus. Once again, He saved others!

Little wonder, then, that on that dark day at Calvary, those religious chief priests—powerless and moved by envy—mocked Jesus with their chant: “He saved others, Himself he cannot save.” Oh, yes, He saved multiplied multitudes, and He continues saving those who cry out “Have mercy on me.” But He would not—could not—save Himself that day, for He had committed to finishing the atoning work the Father had sent Him to do.

How about it, reader friend. Has He saved you? If not, you see it is just a matter of repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.  Just as these “worst case” souls were saved by the Lord Jesus, so you can be saved right this moment.  Won’t you? Will you?

For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:13)


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