Turn to Me and Be Saved
Key Verse: “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.”
CHRISTIANS MOST OFTEN think of Jesus as their Savior and, indeed, the Scriptures are replete with such statements, for example, “Unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:11) However, the Bible also speaks of God himself as the Savior of mankind. Although this may at first seem difficult to understand, there is no conflict to think of both God, the Father, and his son, Jesus Christ, as saviors, when the Scriptures are properly understood. Today’s lesson points out, in prophetic words, how God and Jesus, separate and distinct beings, are both to be considered as saviors.
The first point when considering this subject is that God and his son Jesus are, in fact, two separate beings and not part of a triune god. In our lesson, this is shown by comparing verse 1 with other verses in the chapter. “Thus saith the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him.” (Isa. 45:1) “Verily thou art a God that hidest thyself, O God of Israel, the Saviour.” (vs. 15) It is clear from verse 15, as well as others in this chapter, that God himself was the Savior of Israel. Verse 1, however, speaks of Cyrus as one anointed by God to do things on his behalf. We know from other supporting scriptural accounts how God used Cyrus, the great Persian king, to save Israel and allow her to rebuild the Temple and the walls of Jerusalem (see Ezra and Nehemiah) following her 70 years of appointed captivity. Both God, and his anointed instrument Cyrus, acted jointly, and in cooperation with one another, to be Israel’s typical savior. At the same time, none for a moment would conclude that God and Cyrus were one and the same person, or being. They were separate, distinct, yet worked together for the accomplishment of the same goal.
The above application to typical Israel has a much larger fulfillment. Cyrus was used as a picture, or type, of Jesus Christ, the son of God. The word ‘Christ’ means anointed and, as Cyrus was anointed by God to fulfill his saving work on Israel’s behalf, Jesus was also anointed to fulfill a much larger and all-encompassing ‘saving’ work. This work was not merely the saving of one nation for a limited period of time, as was the case with Israel. God and his anointed son Jesus, working jointly and in complete cooperation, engaged in the saving of all mankind from sin and eternal death, and provided the means whereby all will be given an opportunity for eternal life in Christ’s coming kingdom.
Jesus’ role as Savior was to provide the ransom price—a perfect human life, to correspond to the life forfeited by Adam through sin, thus plunging the entire human family into death. This price was provided by Jesus’ death as a perfect man, thus taking the place of, and releasing, Adam and his progeny from the penalty of death. However, Jesus’ death by itself could not fully accomplish the saving of mankind. God’s specific role then came into play. He, by his own mighty power, raised Jesus from the dead, which allowed the ransom payment to be made into the hands of justice, and made sure the arrangement whereby in due time, all that have died will receive a resurrection (John 5:28-29, Wilson’s Emphatic Diaglott) and thus be saved by the joint operation of the Father and the Son.