May 24, 2023 - Rev Kim Salo
Luke 18:31 to 19:10 is a series of encounters between Jesus and his
disciples, a blind beggar, and a rich tax collector named Zacchaeus.
Looking at these three encounters, we see different aspects of what
“save” and “salvation” means.
In the New Testament, nearly a third of the uses of save and salvation
refer to present deliverance from disease, demonic possession, or
physical death. Save and salvation often refer to a future deliverance in
the end time. In the gospel of John, eternal life is offered by Jesus in the
present as a continuing gift into the future.
So, save and salvation can have a present meaning, as well as a future
meaning. They can refer to physical circumstances, a moral change, or
1. Read Luke 18:35-43. At verse 42, when Jesus speaks to him, how
does your Bible translate the verse? Does it say healed, saved, or
made you well? How do you explain the differences in wording
2. Read 19:1-6. Why did Zacchaeus want to so badly to see Jesus?
Why is it important that Jesus should be at Zacchaeus’ home that
day? How is that a change in Zacchaeus normal life in Jericho?
3. Read 19:7-10. Why do the neighbors complain about Zacchaeus?
About Jesus? What does Zacchaeus public announcement mean
for him? For his neighbors? For Jesus?
4. Read verse 9-10. Why does Jesus mean by saying ‘Today salvation
has come to this house? In the case of Zacchaeus, what does Jesus
mean by saying, ‘For the Son of Man came to seek and save the
5. Now read Romans 10:9-10 and 10:13. Does Paul mean ‘save’ in
the present sense, or in the future sense?
6. Generally, we can be saved from many things. Name 5 things from
which we can be saved. What are we saved for?
Optional submitted question: “As God cares about our bodies, and I
believe we get a new one in heaven, should I fear cremation?”
Answer: This question is about the intermediate state between our own
physical death, and the final resurrection into eternal life.
The Bible does not go into detail into our existence between our death
and the resurrection. However, if we start with what happened to Jesus, we may gain some insight. Jesus died on the cross; the gospels give us ample evidence that
his death was real physical death. And the whole New Testament gives
us ample evidence that he was resurrected. In between, he was in the
The only difference between what happened to Jesus, and our own
physical death and resurrection, is the amount of time. Whether we are
dead three days, or 3000 years, is of no importance to God.
Also, just as God raised Jesus with a new body, the resurrection body,
rather than resuscitating the old corpse, so with us. Does it matter to
God whether we died in a house fire or cremation? Does it matter to
God whether we died in old age or young? Does it matter to God
whether we are buried in the ground or lost at sea? The answer is no.
Just as God first created us, God can easily recreate us.
As for any conscious awareness after physical death of our human body
being destroyed, as in cremation, that is not possible if we are in fact
dead. So we need not fear what happens.
The best answer I know for those who wonder about these things is to
think, ‘What happened to Jesus will happen to me.’ As for the
intermediate state between death and resurrection, we are ‘with the
Lord.’ Sometimes the New Testament uses the word ‘sleep’ to describe
See 2 Corinthians 5:1-10, I Thessalonians 4:13-18, I Corinthians 15.
In 2023, each week's blog is a follow-up reflection written by the preceding Sunday’s preacher to dig deeper into the sermon topic and explore engaging discussion questions.