Counting the Cost: Easter

Online Shopping:

With all the recent changes in our country and dealing with the pandemonium of the pandemic, it seems as though we are shopping more and more on-line. Convenient? Yes. But then what? Suppose what you purchased is not exactly as described? Not being able to see or feel the items can sometimes leave us disappointed.

For some time, I searched for the perfect red cashmere sweater. Finally, I found what I was looking for; however, the price was quite out of my budget, so I waited for the big sale. You know the one—50% or more off and then the “But Wait! There’s More!” And when those additional ads popped up, I hit the Submit button. It was as though I could see it all happening in cyberspace. The sweater went flying from my cart into a shipping box, and the charge (at the speed of light), flew onto my credit card. I couldn’t wait! It seemed like every day I was “waiting on the curb like a little kid.

Finally, the sweater arrived, and I was jumping for joy! As I unwrapped the package, my excitement quickly turned to dismay, it would have to be returned. What I thought was such a beautiful sweater was snagged, unraveling, sewn crooked, and totally unacceptable. Already, I was dreading the hassle. Dreading the shipping cost. Dreading the line at the post office. And dreading the effort to contact the retailer to package it up for the return.

The sweater had to go.

Purchased with Perfection:

The next day as I was packaging the item for its return, God brought to mind a sobering thought.

 

“For you were bought at a price…” I Corinthians 6:20 (NKJV).

As I began to let that thought sink in, I was reminded of the great price Jesus paid for us on the cross. He was sinless, yet He bore our sins. He took on Himself what should have been our punishment. He was mocked, beaten, spat upon, pierced through His side, ridiculed with a crown of thorns they placed on His head, and then nailed to a cruel cross. No water. Hanging in the heat of the day—the sun beating down on his beaten and bloody body.

I’ve often thought about those there at the foot of the cross who stood and watched. His mom—can you imagine her pain as she watched her son tortured? He struggled to breathe as He pushed His body upward on that cross. His friends—did they look on, feeling helpless and guilty that they hadn’t done more to stand?

Before that day they didn’t understand the plan of His ultimate sacrifice. The Roman Soldiers—how could they have placed those spikes in His hands and feet and thrust the spear in His side? Where was their compassion? Pontius Pilate himself washed his hands of it, saying, “I find no fault in this Man.” Luke 23:4 (NKJV) And like many today, Pilate was washing the wrong thing. He needed to wash his heart, to have it cleansed by the precious blood of Jesus, the only atonement for our sin.

The events of that day are forever etched in History. I don’t think any of us can comprehend the love of God. It’s sacrificial. Unexplainable. Undeniable. But available to all. The Perfect Lamb of God purchased us with His blood. He didn’t deserve the punishment He received and took on for our sins. Did God get all He paid for?

Paid in Full

I look at myself, my life, and I wonder if I was a good purchase. Down deep I know that the outside person—the one that everyone sees—isn’t always a true picture of my heart.

 

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?” Jeremiah 17:9 (NKJV)

 

According to God’s Word, we can’t even know our own hearts. Oftentimes I think I’m more like that sweater—unraveled, unsettled, flawed, not my best version, a poor representation of the love of God, and imperfect. Thankfully, in spite of my failures and countless ways I don’t measure up, God doesn’t look at me for who I am, but rather for who I am through Him. If there were anything I could do on my own to gain eternal life, His work on the cross would have been in vain.

 “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His Mercy He saved us,” Titus 3:5 (NKJV)

My debt is paid in full by the Son of God. I can’t understand the grace of God (His unmerited favor); grace that is greater than all of our failures. We don’t deserve it. We can’t earn it.

Mercy and grace are different. Mercy withholds a punishment we deserve while grace gives a blessing we don’t deserve. Grace has been defined as unmerited favor; but I believe it is more than that. The grace of God empowers us and enables us by replacing our weaknesses with His strengths. Grace is our lifeline not only for eternal life, but also for our daily walk. I can’t fathom God’s grace—given so freely, fully, completely, and unconditionally.

I’m thankful today that God looks at me through His finished work on the cross, and not at me, the sinner, the one who could never measure up.

Think about it. Adam was created from the dust of the ground. Nothing more than what the vacuum picks up on its weekly run. And yet God sent His Only Son to die for us, to stand in our place, and take the punishment for depraved man. Grace is God giving the greatest treasure to the least deserving—which is every one of us. Without Him, we are nothing. Unworthy. And yet, through Him we become royalty because of the magnitude of who He is. How did He ever love us so much?

My prayer every day is that I’ll walk worthy of who I am—a “King’s Kid”—and that God will be honored and pleased with His “purchase.” He paid the ransom for me, for you, for each of us. Did He get all He paid for?

This is From My Heart~

Bonnie Lovelace is a member of the writing team on The Hallelujah House. She is married to her best friend Hub (yes, that’s what he’s called) and they have two adult children. She has a passion for writing, speaking, and sharing the Hope of Jesus Christ. You can find Bonnie’s full bio by clicking on the About Us tab above.

April 2021
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