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Jesus as salvation is the fundamental and foundational experience of Christians and the early Christians used various models to explain it.

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  • May 13, 2004
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Jesus as salvation is the fundamental and foundational experience of Christians. This means that people experience Jesus as a bringer of God's salvation. Thus, Jesus' resurrection is viewed as the foundation of Christian faith. The aim of Christian life is to be the life of Jesus in his/her own time. Hence, with Jesus' death being the culmination of His life that redempts us from the slavery of sin, salvation then becomes a fundamental experience of Christians. Jesus as salvation transforms lives of Christians by saving them. According to the meaning of a story soteriology, Jesus' story is salvation and the saving relationship between Savior and saved is a storied relationship, for salvation is being enfolded or inscribed within the story of the Savior.

The early Christians used various models to explain it. In the model of sacrifice, Jesus is viewed differently from the OT's sacrifice. In the OT, we can see how people believed that a sacrifice will bridge the distance between them and God if God will accept the sacrifice. However, such OT sacrifices did not work because God did not accept them. In the NT, however, Jesus is viewed as sacrifice and He reconciles us with God for He is accepted by God. With this, Christ brings salvation to us by being a ransom for us. In the model of the Suffering Servant, Jesus is the innocent One who took our sin and our burden in Him and died for us in order to save us. His great love for the world is shown through a life of service, or sacrificial service, that is full of mercy and faithfulness. By taking hold of our sufferings, He becomes salvation for us.

Jesus is the exemplar of human existence. Jesus' positive confrontation of death in loyalty to God has to do with what it reveals about human existence. The cross acts as an implicit message of Jesus about the nature of human existence, about what is truly important and valuable relative to being human. Jesus' whole life is pleasing to God. He is the homo verus, the...