Growing up, we played a game called the “Trust Fall.” One kid would turn in the opposite direction of another kid and have to trust that upon falling backward, the other would ensure collapsing to the ground didn’t happen. Most of the time, no painful falls ensued. But the principle was that an individual had to trust that the person there to catch him or her had both the ability and the reliability to actually do the catching.
This simple game of trusting someone to catch you doesn’t serve as a perfect picture of salvation, but a lot of the principles still apply.
1) Jesus has the ability to save you
Just as you have to trust that the other has the ability to catch you, you have to trust that God has the ability to save you.
This is quite a hurdle in many people’s minds on 2 counts. One is that people may feel that they have simply sinned too much for God to be able to forgive their sins. They may feel that it would be the respectable act to bear their sins, but that overlooks the fact that salvation is a gift that no one deserves. Even one sin identifies someone as a sinner, and so everyone is equal in terms of their need for Jesus. Jesus offers the gift of eternal life to all who believe in Him, regardless of how much or how little sin they have committed in their lives.
Another reason this could be a hurdle in some people’s minds is that they don’t feel they need to be saved from their sins. Most people think they are relatively good people, but until they realize they are lost, they won’t be able to be found. They have to realize they need to be saved before they can trust that God can save them.
Going back to the “Trust Fall”, we are all falling because we are fallen people in a fallen world. We were born with a sinful nature that we inherited from Adam and Eve after they sinned in the Garden of Eden, and we are also sinners because we chose and choose to make decisions not in line with God’s truth.
Some people try to soften the fall by living a pleasure-filled life, but the fall is still fatal. Others try to trust something or someone else to catch them, but they have no certainty that they will be caught because it’s a game of chance. Those who place their faith in Christ place their faith in someone who voluntarily laid His life down but who rose from the grave. He’s the only one who ever conquered death, so He’s the only one who can offer eternal life. He’s the only one with the ability to catch us in our downward spiral of sin and place our feet on a solid foundation.
2) Jesus wants to save you
It doesn’t matter how strong someone is. If they aren’t interested in catching you as you are falling, it makes no difference. If you’re falling and they don’t step in, you’re going to fall to the ground.
The Bible says in 1 Timothy that God desires for all men to be saved. He desires this so much that He sent His only Son to die on the cross for the sins of the world, to be buried, and to rise victoriously from the grave.
3) You have to personally choose Jesus as your Savior
Just as we have to make the decision ourselves to trust the person behind us to catch us, each of us has to personally decide to trust Jesus as our personal Savior.
It is simply not enough to have all the logic there. You can know all the Bible stories, but it’s a completely different story to actually trust Jesus to save you in a personal way.
We are all sinners, and our sins separate us from God. Jesus paid for our sins, was buried, and rose again to bridge the gap between our sin and God. And by doing that, He paid for our sins and conquered death. By conquering death, He is the only one with the authority to offer eternal life.
The part where this is personal is when we have to individually admit to God that we are sinners, come to the realization that Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross was sufficient to pay for our sins, and humbly ask Jesus to save us from the sins that we as individuals have committed and to give us eternal life.
Christianity is not about religion. It is about a personal relationship with Jesus, and until God’s gift of eternal life is accepted by us personally, there is no salvation. Our family or friends cannot make the decision to accept Christ as our Savior for us. Only we as individuals can.
4) Gratitude is the natural response when Jesus saves you
Whether you fall backward on accident or on purpose, you are grateful when someone is there to catch you. It’s a big step up from injuring yourself.
When we as individuals place our faith in Jesus, He “catches” us from our most precipitous fall, our fallen human nature. Not only does He wash us clean from the filth of sin, but He also gives us eternal life where we get to spend eternity with Him, the only one who ever perfectly loved us.
When you see everything that Jesus did for you — the fact that He died the most painful death on the cross for your sins, went to the grave, and rose again victoriously so that you can one day rise again to live eternally with Him — the natural response is extreme gratitude. If that is all that Jesus ever did for us, that’s far more than we could ever deserve. The least we can do is thank Him and serve Him with our lives.
5) Jesus is your Savior and your friend
For those who trust Jesus as their personal Savior, they have the assurance of a true friend that helps if and when they fall in the future.
Friends come and go, but life still happens. We still have our ups and downs, and we always need someone to be there for us. Friends will fail us and will not always be there to catch us.
But the good news is that the same God who caught His children as they were falling in sin is the same God who is there for us to catch us as we are falling or help us up when we’ve fallen. He’s there, and He will never fail.
If you would like to accept Jesus as your Savior, you can pray a prayer like this in your heart:
Jesus, I know I have sinned and my sins separate me from You. But I know that you have died on the cross for my sins, were buried, and rose again for me. Please save me from my sins. I accept Your gift of eternal life. Amen.