One of the most popular series of advertisements in recent years has been MasterCard's "Priceless" commercials. The ads list a series of desirable goods or services and their corresponding costs. Finally, the narrator names an attendant intangible that no amount of money can buy along with the punch line, "Priceless." The narrator intones, "There are some things money can't buy. For everything else, there's MasterCard." Here is similar treatment for Christians:
New Bible: $65
New Clothes to Wear to Church: $200
Contribution to Building Fund: $500
That Jesus Died to Pay for Your Sins: Priceless.
Spring has arrived in the northern hemisphere, heralding Christianity's annual memorial of the Savior's death and His resurrection as our High Priest and soon-coming King. For the church of God, that means the annual observance of Passover. It was on this day, roughly 2,000 years ago, that Jesus of Nazareth gave Himself in payment for our sins, opening up access to the Father and making possible our salvation and eternal life. What a profound deed that was, both in its execution and its accomplishment!
Because it happened so long ago in a land far removed from us in terms of distance and culture, Christ's sacrifice is often not as real to His modern disciples as it needs to be. For some of us, it is reduced to mere fact: It happened, and the result is that God forgives us by His Son's blood and we can have everlasting life. Others approach it emotionally, somewhat in the manner of Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ, sympathizing with Jesus' agony yet failing to appreciate fully the moral and spiritual obligations it imposes on His followers. Many who claim to be Christians figuratively leave Him hanging on the stake for all time, overemphasizing His death and minimizing His present, glorious life as our Advocate before the Father (Hebrews 7:25; 9:24; I John 2:1) and Head of the church (Ephesians 1:22-23; Colossians 1:18).
Where do we begin in trying to understand the unfathomable costs involved in this supreme sacrifice?
This comprises only the major sacrifices and sufferings our God and Savior Jesus Christ—and His Father—went through to bring us forgiveness of sin, a relationship with God, and the potential for eternal life.
- Richard T. Ritenbaugh
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