By Collin Ross
One question that runs throughout the Bible is the same one that runs through our minds. We spend our lives trying to escape our past mistakes and conceal our shame, constantly asking, “What can deliver me from this darkness within and all around me?”
While we often search for the answer to this question in romantic relationships, successful careers, or entertaining hobbies, the Bible gives a definitive answer. God promised long ago that He would send a deliverer. It was promised to David that God would establish from David’s lineage a delivering king whose rule would last forever (2Samuel 7:3). Isaiah foretold the coming day when God would raise up a king who would break the yoke of the oppressor and usher in the peace of God (Isaiah 9:4–7). And from the lips of the blind beggar, the promised Son of David is named. It is Jesus of Nazareth who came to deliver people from their sins (Mark 10:47, Romans 1:3–4).
The great promise in Christ Jesus is this: we have been delivered. And yet, we struggle so mightily to believe this. Why is it so hard to believe that Jesus has once-for-all delivered us from sin and death? Well, in my mind, there are two main reasons this proves challenging. First, to accept deliverance, we must first acknowledge our need for help. Now, let’s be honest. In our world, requiring help is a sign of weakness and, therefore, something to be avoided at all costs. However, if we want to know the joy of Christ’s deliverance, we must summon the courage to admit that we’re powerless to follow God’s will by our own strength.
The other reason we struggle to believe that we’ve been delivered is that doing so requires that we trust Jesus to be faithful to His promises. Trusting someone inherently invites the risk of being hurt or disappointed. To live as delivered people requires that we risk trusting the faithfulness of Christ—namely, that He is who He says He is and can do what He says He can do. This is no easy task.
Therefore, we should be willing to admit that it will take a lifetime to believe wholeheartedly that we have been delivered. There will be moments when our trust in Christ’s saving work is as solid as steel, and at other times we will doubt that even God in the flesh could restore our wayward hearts. But throughout the highs and lows of our faith journey, we do well to remember that God is with us. As Isaiah writes, “See, the virgin will conceive, have a son, and name him Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14). Immanuel means “God is with us.” The name of our Rescuer is a promise. He will always be with us, reminding us we have been delivered.