How Great a Salvation (Hebrews 2:3)

how shall we escape if we ignore so great a salvation? This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him. (Hebrews 2:3)

As I write this entry, a week before it appears on the site, I wake to the news that Osama Bin Laden is no more. One of my Facebook friends suggested that the man died of “natural causes.” After all, he thought, if you attack this nation, it’s only natural that such a thing would happen. Such nationalistic chest thumping seems to be going around today.

While I have no affection for Bin Laden, I’m not all that celebratory this morning. His death is not our salvation just as the end of World War II did not prove our salvation. News such as today’s does provide some relief. Stop the killing in Darfur. Stop the dying from cancer. Shelter the victims of the Alabama tornados. These are all worthy goals, but they’re only intermediate goals.

Perhaps the death of Bin Laden has saved lives of potential victims. As positive as that is, those victims will still die. Similarly, any saved in Darfur, cured of cancer, or protected in Alabama will succumb to a greater threat: death itself.

Only Christ provides the great salvation spoken of by the author of Hebrews and required by each of us. Only Christ provides a salvation that does not expire with time. Only Christ provides a salvation that allows a new threat to rise in the place of the old threat. Only Christ provides a salvation not dependent on our abilities.

Some measure of justice has been achieved for the victims of 9/11, but in reality their need was not for justice but for mercy. Each of them lived as a sinner in need of redemption. As tempting as it might be today to trust in military might, political leadership, or nationalistic fervor, all of these pale next to the salvation provided by Jesus Christ.