When Samuel addresses the people of Israel, he refers to King Saul as the LORD’s anointed. The word translated anointed in 1 Samuel 12:3 & 5 is mâshîyach (maw – shee´ – akh). “The New Testament title of Christ is derived from the Greek Christos which is exactly equivalent to the Hebrew mashiyach” (4899). What King Saul and Jesus have in common is they were both anointed for a special role as God’s chosen one. The difference between the two is that King Saul was only able to save the Israelites from physical death at the hands of their enemies, Jesus delivers God’s people from a second death which is a spiritual death that results from sin.
I believe the reason why God gave the Israelites a savior to deliver them from their enemies in the Promised Land is because they needed to realize that being saved from physical death was not enough. The problem of sin was still there and had to be dealt with also. When God saved me from overdosing on sleeping pills, all my problems did not go away. My problem with sin still had to be dealt with in order for me to have eternal life and to be able to go to heaven when I die. The important thing about God saving me from the overdose is that it gave me a chance to hear the gospel and to give my life to Christ. Otherwise, I would have died in my sins and gone to hell for eternity.
I think salvation is a two step process. The first step usually goes unnoticed because in essence, nothing happens. We don’t die before we get to step two which is accepting Jesus as atonement for our sins. God keeps his children alive until they are secure in Christ. If King Saul had not been put in his position, it is possible the Israelites would have been wiped out by the Ammonites. After defeating them, Saul said, “to day the LORD hath wrought salvation in Israel” (I Samuel 11:13). Just before Jesus died, he said “it is finished” (John 19:30).