Yesterday at church, we went up for communion as a family. Our little Josie sipped the juice out of the cup she was handed, and started to return her used cup back to the tray, when she hesitated. She had realized that she had only managed to slurp out about half of her juice. She quickly took it back, excitedly drank up the remainder of what was hers, and we all headed back to our seats.
As we walked back, that picture really made me think. I used to not get all of what Jesus had done for me on the cross. I sipped the top, and then blindly handed it back, believing I had gotten it all without double checking. I was wasting what had been given to me, because I did not even know that more existed.
I leaned over to Kris once we got back to our seats, and told him how I thought that scene was really a picture of our journey out of religion. Once, we were just skimming the surface of our cup, of what Jesus did for us, but we were leaving a whole pile of it in there to be wasted. And once we found out there was more in there, we had a choice whether or not we would hand it back half full, or grab it back enthusiastically like my girl had done, and get ALL of what was ours. We all have a choice. Are we all being as thorough as Josie, getting in that last sip of what Jesus has done for us? Are we getting the full picture?
Salvation is an amazing gift. The forgiveness of all of our sins is baffling and hard to even imagine. But those things are just part of what Jesus did for us on the cross. If you’re going to drink any part of what Jesus has for you, that is a great place to start. But there are promises in there that have to do with this life on earth, that enable us to have victory over the works of the enemy, and that help us have the abundant life He wanted for us (John 10:10). There is more in that cup than a promise about what happens to us when we die.
So what else is in there?
In the original Greek, the word that was translated into our English language as “saved” or “salvation” was one word: SOZO. The Strong’s Concordance tells us that “sozo” means “to save, i.e. deliver or protect (literally or figuratively), heal, preserve, save (self), do well, be (make) whole.” It was used in places where salvation was being discussed, but also for deliverance, and healings as well. So “salvation” is really more than just about our eternal destiny. To accept Jesus only for salvation is better than not, but that would be equal to slurping up only the top portion of that communion cup. “Sozo” tells us that the cup is also made up of physical healing (the fact that it’s mentioned separately from salvation and forgiveness in the Bible tells us it’s not just a “spiritual” healing; not to mention, many times that a person was physically healed in the Bible, the word “sozo” was used), deliverance (which means complete freedom from oppression), protection, the ability to do well, and the promise to be made whole.
It is a package deal. It all goes together when you drink the whole cup. Those elements of “sozo” are the benefits David sang about in Psalm 103, that he did not want to forget. The fact that he makes a point of saying “don’t let me forget” leads me to believe that the enemy must want us forgetting – or never knowing about – God’s benefits (just drinking the surface), because he does not want us living them out and being a witness of the complete SOZO package to people. And having Christians just slurping up the top drops of the communion cup – and not even believing more exists – is a great tactic to make that happen. If I were the enemy, I’d be terrified of believers who were living out all of God’s benefits, and would hate the little Josies who, in faith, grab that cup and take all of what belongs to them. And like Josie, David didn’t want to miss anything either. In this passage, he is in essence crying out, “Lord, let me always drink the WHOLE cup!” He wanted ALL of God’s benefits, which he goes on to say are things like being forgiven, being healed (which he states separately from salvation and forgiveness, so again, NOT “spiritual” healing) from ALL of our diseases, being redeemed from death, having our youth renewed, and having our lives filled with good things. In other words: SOZO.
If you grew up like me, and you knew about the gift of salvation, but you’ve been handing that cup back half full, I encourage you to seek what else God has for you. I encourage you to ask God what benefits you may be missing. I encourage you to seek His goodness and in faith, take it all. It’s not selfish to receive a gift. It’s not selfish to make sure you got it all, so that the remainder doesn’t go to waste. It’s a way to be thankful. It’s a way to live in ALL of His fullness so that you can turn around and share those benefits with a hurting world that needs it. It’s a way to tell Jesus that He didn’t pour out his blood in vain, and that you’re going to make sure no drop of it was wasted. It’s a way to live out what we are called to do – to destroy the works of the enemy and to seek and save the lost. And we were meant to do those things FULL of the complete sozo package.
Take it. He thought of you when he spilled his blood, so don’t hand the cup back to him half full.