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This year, American Idol producers introduced a new facet to the show to rectify what they saw as a problem situation that had emerged in some years. Sometimes, the good contestants didn't finish first. Cited for their "nice guys finish fourth or more back" placement have been folks like Chris Daughtry, Tamyra Gray, Michael Johns and Jennifer Hudson.
So, the producers invented The Judges' Save, which, essentially, gives one contestant one more opportunity to return to the show after he or she has received the lowest number of votes. I guess they figure even the best contestants can make a mistake--a bad song choice, bad performance, etc. And why should one mistake cost them the title?
The judges have had the chance to use The Judges' Save since the show began. They have not granted it to anyone. Honestly, I don't think they will use it. I think the power to save is not something they are willing to risk doing. And they all know that just because you have the American Idol title doesn't always mean you're best of the best anyway.
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There was a man named Pilate who held The Judges' Save option for another man named Jesus. But, Jesus was no ordinary man. He proclaimed to be the Messiah! He had a number of followers over three years' time in the high-profile public eye. Many loved him. Others were skeptical, if not downright out to have him "voted off," as it were.
Jesus was thought by the people of the day to be the next king. He had performed miracles! He attracted throngs of people to hear him. He came through the city of Jerusalem as the people praised him. Their king was almost to be crowned. But then, a traitor stepped forward and exposed Jesus. An overnight turn-of-events that pronounced Jesus as someone who wasn't who he said he was. Mockery ensued. Torture.
The man who would be crowned then came face-to-face with Pilate, the one with The Judges' Save. Pilate wrestled with himself more than he wrestled with Jesus (not that Jesus was "singing for his life" at that point). The voices in Pilate's head were not unanimous. How could he hold this man? He had no grounds to do so. Yet, how could he release him? What kind of turmoil would come to him? The risks to use The Judges' Save were too great. So, Pilate left the decision of Jesus' reign to the people. And Jesus received the least number of votes.
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There was Another who had the option to use The Judges' Save that day. God. Jesus' Father.
Surely God knew the amazingness of His only begotten Son. He crafted His Son as carefully as any one of us, except that He made Him to be perfect. There was only One who was both fully God and fully man, and Jesus was Him.
God brought Him to earth in an amazing way--just like us! He grew up a child, like us. He learned a trade, supported his family, embraced a one-of-a-kind ministry that would have life-changing ramifications for generations to come. He brought the Truth and taught it to everyone He saw. He healed. He prayed. He fasted. He wept. He enjoyed the company of children. He reached out to everyone. He loved. He was love!
Yet, there was Jesus, in the Garden of Gethsemene, asking His Father to use The Judges' Save, but knowing in His heart and in His prayer that He would follow His Father's will and accept the place that He was called to take. Yes, even Jesus had The Judges' Save that day. But He refused to use it.
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But, on this Good Friday, let us not mourn the decision that was made. For had The Judges' Save been used by anyone, the outcome for all of us would be very different. Our "going home" would look more like that of an American Idol contestant at the end of his or her run. There would be no rejoicing.
Jesus did not come to take the title of king.
Jesus did not come to win an earthly competition to be king of kings.
Jesus came AS KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS!
Jesus came not so that He could be saved, but that the world THROUGH HIM might be saved!
So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death. The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. He did this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us, who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit.--Romans 8: 1-4 (New Living Translation)
So, the only question left is, Did Jesus save you today?
He did, if you believe He opted out of The Judges' Save for you. (John 3:16)