Sunday, April 4, 2010

Sunday: The Price He Paid guest post T. W.

Easter and You

As Christians, we love to talk about salvation being "free". And it is free, in that we do not have to pay a financial down payment, and a monthly installment. But was salvation really free? I present to you, NO! Jesus, Himself, paid an enormous price, and the Saints around the world, who are dedicated to spreading the Gospel of Peace, often pay a tremendous price.

This is Easter Week, Passover as it were, the Resurrection weekend, as I like to call it. You will no doubt see thousands of pictures of the person we depict as Jesus Christ hanging on a cross, with His head hung down, and blood coming out of His sides. You may even shed a tear yourself. You may remember the movie "The Passion of Christ", and realize that Jesus suffered a lot for you and I, but the Price He paid and the price His followers continue to pay, was even greater than what we have seen in the movies.

Have you ever gotten your eyes on a vehicle that you wanted so bad, that you were willing to pay the outrageous sticker price for it. Or have you ever send an outfit, that was so unique that you were willing to pay for it, even if you had to put it on lay-a-way. That is what I believe Jesus was saying to this world when He decided to take on humanity, and come down to earth to redeem man. Whatever it cost, He was willing to pay. One of the things that the Bible records, which caused Jesus a great deal of sorrow and pain, aside from His death, was the REJECTION He experienced from the people He loved so much.

Isaiah 53: 1 - 12 (The entire chapter) is a prophecy which spoke of the coming Lord, and revealed to all who would receive it, that He would actually come to earth and suffer many things for our sake. He would be someone who was hated, and rejected of men. He was evidently someone who was not sought after for His physical beauty. I will quote some of the Scripture from Isaiah 53, here, but I encourage you to read the entire twelve verses, even if you have read them before.

Isaiah 53: 1. "Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?
2. For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground. He hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there in no beauty that we should desire him.
3. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
4. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
5. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed."

These words show a Man/God who came to a people whom He obviously loved, which includes all of us, and we basically rejected Him. That is of course, not each and every person, but that is for the most part. This Scripture shows us that the Lord cared so much for us, that he did carry our grief and sorrows for us. So when we are going through our hurts and pain, we have to remember that the Lord "is acquainted with grief". He paid that price for us, by becoming a man, and suffering so that He might actually experience some of the things we would experience.

Testimony: We were in the process of remodeling a home, so that we could use it for a church. So we needed a Variance or a Permit from the City, which meant we also needed approval from our neighbors. The project would cost us over $100,000.00. It would add sidewalks, curbs and gutters to the area. It would give the children, in particular, a place to come and play and learn about God. But, to our surprise, the neighbors rose up in number to fight against us. While the area was infested with illegal drugs, murder, rape, and violence, which to my knowledge, they had never protested. Yet, when we proposed to place a church in the neighborhood, they cried out with a loud voice, "We don't want it!" As I left one of the City meetings one night, I wept! "Lord, why?" It really hurt me to see our neighbors reject us. The Lord graciously answered me: "That is the way they treated me. Though I wanted to do something good for them, and I myself would pay the full price for that act; and though it would cost them nothing, they rose up and fought me, even to the point of taking my life."

Conclusion: So when you think of salvation being "Free", keep this in mind, the price Jesus paid was His Death, His Burial, His Resurrection, and His Rejection. Finally, be encouraged, that because of the price the Lord paid, you have a gift available to you, free of charge. That gift is salvation. If you don't have even one penny, you can still obtain this gift because the price has already been paid. God bless!

Pastor T.W.

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