But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. (Isaiah 53:5)
I think about that a lot, that Jesus paid it all for me. That he was crucified, that he died so that I could live. That my name was on his heart and mind when he cried “Father, forgive them.” Yours was too, he paid it all for you as well. I think about how he came down here to this broken world as a man, born of poor parents, humbled himself to become a simple carpenter’s son. Yet his birth was announced by angels from on high to lowly shepherds tending their sheep. It was announced to the three wise men from afar by a brilliant glorious star. He was hated to the point of maniacal rage by an evil king and later by the Jewish leaders. He was tempted, persecuted, abandoned, denied, rejected, murdered – he was wholly innocent, pure and free from sin, a perfect lamb to be sacrificed for the forgiveness of sin.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. (John 3:16-17)
He paid it all for us while we were yet sinners, still dead in our sin, still rejecting, denying, still holding the hammer in our bloody hands.
But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)
When we were lost in our sin we were just as responsible for every mark on our Lord’s body as those who actually beat, tortured, crucified him. But he prayed to God for our forgiveness even as he was hanging from that cross on Calvary.
Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots. (Luke 23:34)
Knowing that, really knowing it, in my heart, my soul. I feel ashamed, ashamed of my part in his death – so nasty, so brutal, so undeserved. I also feel immense gratitude, thankfulness, joy! Because he loves me, always has always will, even though I rejected him for so long, denied him just as Peter did. But one day I stopped denying, just for a second and that’s when it hit me, grace. God came to earth, died and rose again on the third day to bring grace to the world. A world that didn’t want it, but needed it in the worst possible way. A world that all too often rejects the price Jesus paid on it’s behalf, sinners lost in their sin, in love with it, worshiping it and themselves. When I realized that I was broken, I knew what I was, what I had done, and where I was headed. I was utterly, wretchedly, hopelessly lost. But this still small voice was whispering that yes on my own that was true there was no hope in the dark world where I had been living. But if I just look up, look to the light then there is hope, there is forgiveness, salvation, grace! Undeserved, unearned, freely given, a gift above all gifts, grace in the Lord Jesus Christ, the light unto the world that gave His life to save mine. Jesus paid it all, to Him I owe it all!