Isa 45:15 Truly, you are a God who hides himself, O God of Israel, the Savior.
Isa 45:16 All of them are put to shame and confounded; the makers of idols go in confusion together.
Isa 45:17 But Israel is saved by the LORD with everlasting salvation; you shall not be put to shame or confounded to all eternity.
Isaiah 45 and Cyrus story – Daniel 5. Especially verse 13
Isa 45:13 I have stirred him up in righteousness, and I will make all his ways level; he shall build my city and set my exiles free, not for price or reward,” says the LORD of hosts.
- Israel goes into exile in Babylon for 70 years.
- Turning point is Daniel chapter 5 (539 BC – fall of Babylon, 1st year of Cyrus). Next year, decree of Cyrus, “Jews can go home and their temple and city of Jerusalem must be rebuilt.”
- God, through Cyrus, “saves” them from exile in Babylon and brings them home.
So what is Salvation?
- OT: Joshua (Yeshua): homecoming – brings the people home!
- OT: people in exile. God sends an anointed one to “build my city (Jerusalem) and set my exiles free.” Interesting that it is that way round! Because otherwise where will they go, when they are free?
- NT: Jesus Mat 1:21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”
- This story is our story. Ever since Eden, we are all refugees/exiles/ lost in our sins. Jesus comes to prepare a place for us to come home, and sets us free. It’s both! If just forgiveness of sins, then where will we go?
- Saving is rescue and homecoming.
- Persian word for freedom “serbest” – head bound/covered. Persian word for lost or listless is serseri – head loose/unbound. Salvation involves connecting people into a new home/community so that they are not serseri.
Newbigin, “Salvation is always corporate and eschatological”.
- Implications: this is one of the theological reasons why church planting is central to mission. Otherwise people can be “saved from” but what are they “saved into?”