During rush-hour traffic last night I was stuck behind a car with a bumper sticker proclaiming: “CSI – Christ Saves Individuals”. My first thought was to applaud this brave individual for proclaiming their Christianity to the world. As traffic inched forward, I began to realize how wrong the statement “Christ Saves Individuals” is. Didn’t Christ come to save all of humanity?
The more I meditated on this question the more I knew that Christ had come to save all of humanity from our sins. He even told us as much at the institution of the Lord’s Supper:
Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it all of you; for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. (Matthew 26:27-28; cf. Mark 14:23-24)
The idea that when Christ says “all of you” and “for many” he is referring to all of humanity is supported by St. Paul when he writes to Timothy, telling him that God our Saviour “desires everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (1 Tim 2:4)
What can we make then of the “CSI – Christ Saves Individuals” bumper sticker? Christ came to offer salvation to all humanity and it is up to us as individuals to accept his salvation. In other words, although Christ does save the individuals who chose salvation, he does not select certain individuals for salvation.
How can we accept this offer of salvation? By living lives of faith and grace, as well as partaking in the sacraments the Lord offers us through His Church; especially the Eucharist offered on the altar every Sunday.