When receiving a bill which we were expecting to pay, I’m sure we all feel relieved when we discover that, for some reason, we don’t need to pay. This can happen for a number of reasons. Perhaps we received a credit that we were unaware of, made more previous payments than we should have done, been overcharged, paid on line or someone else has paid on our behalf. Whatever the reason, it is good news and a source of encouragement.
The other day, when I heard the words, “There’s nothing to pay, sir”, I began to reflect on the fact that that is exactly the message of the cross. The good news or Gospel of Jesus is that, by giving his life on the cross, He took the punishment which should be ours and ‘paid the price’ for our sin.
The bible makes it clear that, as a result of turning our backs on God and going our own way, we have sinned and deserve the punishment of death.
Paul writing to the Christians in Rome says, ‘For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard’ (Romans 3:23). The consequence of this is stated in Ezekiel 18:20, ‘The soul that sins. It shall die’.
It sounds a very hopeless situation. And so it would be, if it wasn’t for the fact that God’s love for us is so great that He provided a means by which we would not have to pay the ultimate penalty for our sin. He sent Jesus, His Son, to die on our behalf, so that if we believe in Him, we wouldn’t have to die. The blood of Jesus shed on the cross was the payment required for our forgiveness and redemption, for being bought and brought back into relationship with Father God. It’s a relationship which God had always intended for us but which had been broken by sin.
The Apostle Peter puts it like this; ‘For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And it was not paid with mere gold or silver, which lose their value. It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God’ (1 Peter 1:18-19).
Those of us who have put our trust in Jesus as our Saviour can delight in, and give thanks for, the truth expressed in the refrain of Graham Kendrick’s song, ‘The price is paid, alleluia! Amazing Grace, so strong and sure! And so with all my heart, my life in every part, I live to thank You for the price You paid.’
Prayer: Dear Lord, thank You so much for being willing to pay the price for my redemption. Please help me to understand more fully what it cost You to take away my sin and to be ever thankful for Your sacrifice for me. Amen.
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