Have you ever been to a local junkyard? I have. There you will see every kind of make and model of wrecked vehicles, from all different years of manufacture. Some small, some big, some rusted, and some just worn out.
Another name for a junkyard is a salvage yard. It's called a salvage yard because it's a place where the parts and pieces of junked cars can be bought and reused - and in a sense, given new life. Salvaging these old cars is like rescuing them, transforming them.
The Cambridge Dictionary defines the word salvage as a verb meaning to save something valuable from damage, destruction, or loss. Salvage comes from the old French "salver", to save.
Until just recently, I never really equated the word "salvage" with the word "salvation". Notice the similarities in spelling? Up to now, salvation was that 'churchy' word that was something really good, but sort of obscure and hard to define. But now, I see the word salvation in a much different light. And it makes so much sense. That's because God is in the salvage business!
That's right! God is in the business of salvation - saving and restoring dented, bent, rusted, and for some, totally wrecked lives, salvaging them from destruction. Some call a junkyard a boneyard - a place where old cars are doomed, waiting to be crushed and melted down in a fiery furnace. God is able to save us from the fiery furnace, and offer us new, restored life.
Because of sin, and we all sin, our lives become junked, both spiritually and physically. But here's the good news. We can be salvaged from the junkyard - the boneyard. God offers a way out. He offers new life, new hope, by giving us an opportunity to be rescued from being forever crushed, broken, and totally melted down (both physically and spiritually).
The way it works is that God is willing to purchase everyone from the junkyard. That’s right - He is willing to redeem us, to salvage us. Salvation! The purchase price for us was very steep. It is the sacrifice of His one and only Son, Jesus, crucified on a cross. And if we accept His offer, through faith in Jesus, and baptized in His name, the punishment for our personal sins is transferred to Jesus. We are found forgiven, and adopted as sons and daughters of the King.
And just as Jesus was resurrected from the dead, we are resurrected from the boneyard, salvaged by God, and given a new life of peace, grace, and hope. And not only that, we are given the gift of eternal life, resurrected from even death itself.
"Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)