Salvation is Getting into Heaven Before You Die
There’s a story where Jesus is walking through a crowd of people. Luke says“…the people pressed around him.” The word for “pressed” means “to press round or throng one so as almost to suffocate him.” It wasn’t a place a claustrophobic would want to be.
As Jesus was walking in this suffocating environment we’re told there was a woman who had a discharge of blood for twelve years. Luke, a physician, notes that she had spent all her money on physicians and none of them had been able to heal her. Luke’s gospel was probably not favorite reading material for any doctors in first century churches.
So the woman came up behind Jesus and touched the fringe of his garment. She was immediately healed. Jesus asked who had touched him and no one would fess up. Peter reminds him that the people are pressing in on him like pressing out grapes and olives. But Jesus knew some power had gone out from him.
Then the woman came and told everyone why she had touched him and how she had been immediately healed. Notice what Jesus said to her: “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace.”
The word for “well”? Sodzo, the Greek word for “save.” And “go in peace” can be literally translated “go into peace,” or “go live into peace.” She had a new life. A healthy life.
If you look one chapter back you’ll find another story about another woman where Jesus says the same thing. A woman “of the city” anoints him with oil and he tells her “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” Same word as in the previous story. Exact same line as in the previous story. One has to do with forgiven sins. The other has to do with physical health. And both have to do with a chance at a different life than they had before.
Maybe you’ve been needing a different life. Something is not well that you wish was. Personal budget out of control. Relationships running on empty. Health not in check. Too much to do and not enough time. Bone tired and soul weary. You need those areas of your life to be healthy. You need them to be made well. And whether you’ve thought about it or not, you need to be saved.
Not your typical idea of salvation, is it? We tend to think “being saved” has to do with getting into heaven when we die. But salvation is something more than just getting into heaven when you die. Salvation is much more about getting into heaven before you die. Or we might say salvation is getting heaven into you before you die.
You see, when heaven gets into you, you can’t help but become healthier. You relate to others as Jesus taught. You manage your money as if you are only a steward of it. You take care of your body because it houses a soul that belongs to God. You learn to rest and find renewal.
It can happen. Do what these women did. Go to Jesus. Believe he can make you well. You can find salvation in him. And when you do, you’ll experience some heaven on earth.
— Excerpt from the BELIEVE Study Series by Randy Freeze