The Cost Staggers The Mind
I was reading Oswald Chambers, "My Utmost For His Highest" page 325 the other day and in that short message he talked about the enormous cost of forgiveness. And I began to wonder if we, who call ourselves Christian, ever think about the price that was paid for forgiveness of our sins. Yes, I know that many are going to say that Jesus died on a cross and shed His blood for the sins of all humanity. In fact, there are numerous pictures of the crucifixion that are rather decorative and do not even come close to the actual occurrence. Let's see if we can learn something about the enormous cost for our forgiveness from the Word of God.
We know the Bible talks much about forgiveness. To forgive means to pardon or declare not guilty. Romans 5:12 tells us, "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned."
And Verse 18 tells us, "Therefore as by the offence of one (Adam) judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one (Jesus) the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life."
John was baptizing in the river Jordan and saw Jesus standing near by and scripture says in John 1:29, "The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world."
First Peter 1:18-19 says we were not redeemed with corruptible things such as silver and gold, but with the precious blood of Jesus.
Okay, we know that Jesus paid the price at Calvary for the sin of treason that was perpetrated in the Garden of Eden. We know that because of that sin of treason all mankind is born with a sin or carnal nature. We know that to attain righteousness or right standing with God the penalty for that sin had to be paid. The only one holy enough to pay that price was Jesus, the Son of God.
Now, having said all that we can get on with our message which is the heartrending sacrifice that was paid for my forgiveness and your forgiveness.
Before Jesus went to the cross He prayed to God, His Father, to release Him from this horrendous death if possible. But He knew it was not possible for that is the very reason He came to earth. As He prayed He sweat great drops of blood. I know to just state that He sweat great drops of blood doesn't sound too bad. To many it is just words. But just imagine that you were under a great burden for a loved one and were praying so earnestly that huge drops of blood started coming our of your pores. I believe you would feel like you were laboring under extreme stress.
Next He was betrayed and turned over to the Roman soldiers and was beaten with whips that had pieces of rock and medal in them that literally stripped the flesh from His back and blood ran down His legs. Then the soldiers plucked out His beard. He was so disfigured His own mother did not recognized Him. He was despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows and familier with suffering and we esteemed Him not (Isaiah 53:3). Mankind did not appreciate or honor His sacrifice.
Next the Roman soldiers took Jesus outside the city to a hill called Golgotha and laid Him on that cross and stretched our His arms, opened His hands and placed a huge nail in the palm and began pounding that nail into His flesh and into the wood of the cross. Next they placed His feet on a piece of wood on that cross and took another huge nail and pounded it through His feet into that piece of wood. Can you image the agony that was pulsing through His body? Oh, wait, we are not done yet. Then they stood that cross up and dropped it in a hole so it would stand upright. A spear was thrust up into His side that pierced His heart and His blood again ran down his body to drip on the earth. His spirit was crushed because the sins of the world weighed heavily upon Him. And by the stripes laid on His back we are healed. I believe many are not healed because they have no faith in Him and His sacrifice was and is not appreciated and honored (Isaiah 53:5).
He hung on that cross between heaven and earth for several hours and finally said, "It is finished, and bowed His head and dismissed His Spirit."
I would say Jesus went through terrible agony and paid a colossal price for our forgiveness. And I want to say here that He did all that willingly because of His love for us.
Oh, we are not through, yet. Now we need to take a look at the price Mary, the mother of Jesus paid. Here was a woman, much like any woman today, but this woman was hand picked by God to carry the baby Jesus in her womb that was concieved by the Holy Spirit. She gave birth to Him and nurtured Him until He was grown. Then one day she found herself at the foot of a cross and there hung her son. As I said, He was so bruised and bloody I am not sure she recognized Him, for Jesus said to her, "Woman, behold thy son!" What anguish and pain she must have felt. Think about it.
Oh, again we are not finished yet with the cost of our forgiveness. Now I want to talk about Father God, you know the Eternal Father that sent Jesus to die for you and me. Scripture says from the sixth hour (9:00 A.M.) until the ninth hour (12:00) there was darkness over all the earth. When the sins of the world were placed on Jesus, God turned His back on Him for He could not look upon sin. That is when Jesus said, "My God, My God, Why hast thou forsaken me?" Father God was so hurt and angry He marched up and down heaven forbiding the sun to shine, thunder rolled across heaven. The veil in the temple, which was four inches thick was torn from the top to the bottom. No longer were priests the only ones allowed to talk to God. Now everyone can call upon God through the name of Jesus.
You might think God is love so He will let me into heaven. Not so -- God is love true, but the forgiveness He offers will not reach beyond the cross of Jesus. If we shun God's offer of salvation we will find no mercy.
I am sure of one thing. What I have described in this message is only a very small portion of the suffering, agony and pain that was endured to purchase our forgiveness.
I think we should get on our knees and tell Jesus how much we appreciation His sacrifice, and how much we love Him.
What do you think?
I wish for you the forgiveness Jesus offers to all
God Bless You!
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