When Mark and I were first married, an apocalyptic movie came out that told the story of America after a massive nuclear strike. One of the main characters of the movie was outside the city driving in bumper-to-bumper traffic (as I recall) trying to get home when the bomb dropped. When he saw the mushroom cloud, he leaned over in the front seat of his car as the explosion spread devastation outward from the city. He was one of the only survivors of the bomb. After the movie came out, people laughingly said, “You need to buy that car. It will save your life from a nuclear strike.” They said it like a joke, but I wonder if sales actually went up among dealerships that sold that type of car.
The same thing happened again recently in another movie where rock music saved the day. Thank goodness! I know that at least a generation out there thought that kind of music served no purpose at all. (Don’t include me in that group, though. I never cared for heavy metal, but as a kid I grew up on heathen rock music and loved it. Now that same music is considered to be “oldies.” Go figure.)
So what does all of this have to do with how thin you should slice your bologna? Well, maybe nothing. I just think it is funny how easily swayed people are. You read an article on the Internet and pass it along like it’s the gospel truth, or watch an infomercial on TV, then pick up the phone to order something with a credit card before doing any research. You see words like:
• Guaranteed to help you _________
• In two weeks you’ll have __________
• The only way to reach ___________
• Buy two, get _______ free.
• Genuine, bona-fide, absolutely true!
• Testimonials (My goodness! Testimonials are out of control!)
Gets kind of old kind of fast, doesn’t it? And, of course, all that stuff will supposedly save the day.
Meet my buddy Zacch….
Thank goodness I know the Person Who literally saved the day! He’s a close personal friend of mine. I’d love to introduce you to Him. His name is Jesus. The Bible says that he came to “seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10). Before we become children of God, we are “that which was lot.”
This passage of scripture comes from Luke 19:1-10. I love this passage because it is the story of Zacchaeus, a despised little man who was a big crook. He was a tax collector for the hated Romans. In those days, as long as Rome got its required amount, it didn’t care how much the tax collectors took from the Jewish people. Yet Rome was prepared to back up its tax collectors with steel. (Kind of sounds familiar, doesn’t it?) Needless to say, Zacchaeus was not a popular person in the community.
He’d heard about Jesus and knew that this Man from Galilee was headed his way. Wishing to see Him, he tried to push his way forward, but people weren’t interested in being kind to the loathsome tax collector. So he ran ahead of the crowd and climbed into a tree, hoping to catch a glimpse of the Holy Man.
Surprisingly, Zacchaeus had an appointment with the very Man he was trying to see, though he didn’t know it yet. In an act of mercy, Jesus stopped and looked up, saying, “Zacchaeus, come down here. I’m eating at your house today.”
Frowns of disapproval…
I’m sure there were gasps followed by immediate silence as the short man scrambled down the tree. Even the disciples must have been surprised by Jesus’s choice. They rolled with the flow, though, because they had seen unusual behavior in their Rabbi before.
The result was that the vile tax collector became a child of God that day. Zacchaeus had the ultimate “Come to Jesus” meeting. His future was secured as Jesus save his soul.
That’s what Jesus does. He saves the day! He is our Rescuer, our Preserver when we are about to be pulled under the waves of sin. He is Grace, Mercy, Truth, and Redeemer—when we deserve judgment. He longs for us to rest in Him, knowing that whatever happens in this world, He is the ONLY ONE who can save the day!
In the meantime, enjoy your nuclear bombproof car, your Christian contemporary music, and rest in the fact that God can bless and will keep you all!