Jesus, a “Crutch” or a Savior?

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I’ve heard it said Jesus is merely a crutch for the weak-minded and ignorant, but I would argue that Jesus is the Crusher of Crutches.

It is the world, in fact, that manufacturers crutches: the crutch of drugs and alcohol for the hurting, the crutch of sex for the lonely, the crutch of fame and fortune for the insecure, the crutch of knowledge for the fearful, the crutch of power for the weak, the crutch of greed for the anxious, and so on.

Humanity is a broken, battered mess. We have a deep need, a sin nature, that requires a remedy, and the world is powerless to offer us anything more than mere crutches.

There is no ability in this realm to heal or set right the deep needs of the soul, therefore, we are each left in our weak, broken, sinful state hobbling around on crutches that can only offer us a deeper dependence and greater bondage (John 8:34). Yet, we yearn for freedom and long for a cure.

This is the sad, hopeless condition of us all (Romans 3:23) and it is bleak. Our broken, sinful state is terminal (Romans 6:23).

What we need is a Savior, someone who can set right our brokenness, who can mend our gaping wounds, and who can remedy our sin-ridden souls. But where can we find such a one? Not in this realm.

The cure for sinful humanity cannot come from sinful humanity: sin cannot defeat sin, brokenness cannot defeat brokenness, darkness cannot defeat darkness, and death cannot defeat death.

It isn’t enough that we understand our original design: we were created by God in His image for loving communion with Him (Genesis 1:26) and each other.

And it isn’t enough we understand what went wrong: sin entered the world and our hearts through the disobedience of our first father, Adam, separating us from the God we were created for (Romans 5:12) and crippling our ability to live in perfect love and harmony with each other.

We cannot work our way back. We cannot fix ourselves. Our sin nature lies as an impassable barrier between who we are and who we were created to be. It has infiltrated every part of us even the good we attempt (Isaiah 64:6).

Our hope can only come from someone outside our sin, brokenness, and need; someone who understands us, how we were originally designed, and what went wrong; and someone who holds the power to make it right.

We need our Creator. We need God to come to us, to save us, and to shine His light into our darkness. We need God to do for us what we can’t possibly do for ourselves: make us right before Him, new, healed, and restored, breaking the power of sin in our hearts, and the power of death over our lives.

God the Son took on human flesh to be the answer to our greatest need (John 1:14). He came to do the unthinkable: to enter into our humanity, our weakness, and our suffering. He left the glories of heaven to live in our sinful realm without sin and to walk this earthly, broken life without crutches.

But, Jesus didn’t come merely to be an example for us of a perfect human life. He came as a spotless lamb to take upon Himself our terminal sentence (1 Peter 1:18-19).

Laying down His human body and His sinless life on a cross, He made an exchange: our sin for His righteousness, our need for His sufficiency, our brokenness for His wholeness, our shame for His glory, our weakness for His strength, our punishment for His reward, and our death for His life (2 Corinthians 5:21; Galatians 2:20; Isaiah 53:5).

Having done all this, He defeated death itself bursting through the confines of the grave and guaranteeing one day those in Him will also rise again (Romans 4:23-25).

This is how God showed His love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him, 1 John 4:9.

No, Jesus is not a crutch. On the contrary, He is the only one to whom we can lay down our earthly crutches. In His death and resurrection, our need for crutches and our hopeless dependence on them was defeated.

The call of Jesus isn’t a call to pick up a crutch, but a call to pick up a cross. We are invited to place our faith in His person and to share in His sufferings that we may also share in the victory of His death and resurrection (1 Peter 4:12-13). The call of Jesus is, “Arise and walk! In me, you are whole. In me, you are free, indeed (John 8:36)!”

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