Did you ever go to dinner with another party and fight over who was going to pay the bill?
You know the tussle that occurs. A person who wants to pay gets the server’s attention before the meal is served and speaks rapidly in low tones into his or her ear. The server nods with understanding. Then, when the bill is presented to the sly communicator as instructed, there is the inevitable exchange of, “No, I want to pay!” and then, “No, I already have it,” until finally someone says, “Thank you so much. I will get it next time.”
As fun as it is to gift people by picking up the tab, there is one bill we don’t want to pay; our sin bill. Jesus paid it for everyone in the world, but sadly, many argue with Him like people do in a restaurant.
“No, I want to pay!,” we say to Jesus.
“I have already paid for it,” He says, “Please, let me apply my payment of death on the cross to your bill. Please.”
Last week, I stated that our Savior’s last breath on earth occurred while He was hanging on a cross with His flesh shredded to pieces, His friends gone, and His enemies jeering.
This week we focus on why his flesh was shredded to pieces.
So to pacify the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas to them. He ordered Jesus flogged with a lead-tipped whip, then turned him over the the Roman soldiers to be crucified. (Mark 15: 15)
Picking up the tab for a meal requires some social tussle and financial strain, but nothing comes close to Christ’s payment on the cross for our sins.
The payment was gory, unfair, and cruel; but complete.
May our understanding of this year’s Lent verse keep increasing as Easter nears: He was despised and rejected – a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way. He was despised and we did not care. (Isaiah 53:3, NLT)
Let’s let Him pay our sin bill.
How do we do that? Well, we all have our faith in something for where we will spend eternity. Even if our faith is in thinking there is nothing after this life but returning to dust in a grave, that constitutes having faith in a certain belief. Some people are crossing their fingers that they lived a life good enough to make it to heaven. The Bible says it’s not just about outside behavior but the inside of our hearts, from which every thought and word emanates. Do you want all of your insides compared to perfection and holiness? Don’t you want a God that’s holy and perfect, or do you want to worship an imperfect God?
As we face Easter, the celebration of Jesus dying and raising from the dead, can you see your sin yet? Can you see why a holy God would demand a payment? Can you see how a loving God sent His Son to pay it for you?
Transfer your faith to Christ’s death instead. Let Him credit His death to your account.
Picture Explanation: I grew up in rural Pennsylvania. I am such a simple gal, coming from such rustic roots. When I was twelve years old, I sat on the front step of this very house on a Thursday night and transferred my faith to Jesus. I didn’t need to say a prayer to make that happen, but I wanted to remember. Lord, I want to remember this night, I prayed. I want to remember this maple tree and mail box, this night lighting and this porch step. I trust your death on the cross for my sin. I trust you for eternal life in heaven, and nothing else.
That was the beginning of my most cherished relationship — my relationship with God through Jesus Christ, and a life of becoming transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit that comes to reside in all that make that faith-transfer decision.
What a night.
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