Friday, April 5, 2013


Jesus paid it all

All of it.  Everything.  The little white lie you told your parents, the gossip you spread, the time you ignored a person in need, the impure thoughts, the malicious actions… everything.  And not just for you – for everyone.  Every single person living on the earth today, their sins were all paid for by Jesus.  The irritating person who likes you more than you like them, the pastor who isn’t perfect, the prisoner who raped, murdered, and stole.  Christ came to pay for all of the sins of all the people, past, present, and future.
He really paid for them too.  Sometimes when one thinks of the word “paid” a simple transaction comes to mind.  We think of Jesus coming to earth and chillin’ down here for a while before deciding it was probably time to trade in his life for the forgiveness of sins.  But it wasn’t that painless.  Jesus really paid for our sin.  He didn’t just trade his life in as if he were exchanging an old car for a new one.  No, he paid for all sin for all people with all of himself.  He lost everything, not just his life.  Stripped nearly naked and ridiculed, he sacrificed his dignity for our sin.  Whipped until his flesh was filled with long gouges pouring blood, Jesus paid for our sin with his comfort.  The entire time his mother watched.  The woman who had rocked him to sleep as a baby, who had raised him into a young man, who had watched him work as a carpenter, was forced to look on from the sidelines as her son was tortured in a manner that must have made her sick.  It was hard enough for her, but Jesus knew she watched his suffering and he had to give up his peace of mind that his own family could be spared the horror of seeing him in his current condition.  Jesus paid everything he had in the most terrible manner possible for all the sin of all the people.

All to him I owe
All of it.  Everything.  It was my sin he suffered for.  The thing is, I should have been in his place.  In fact, with all I have done to hurt Him, Jesus probably should have been the one driving nails through my hands.  Instead, he took my place.  I didn’t just stand on the sidelines weeping in gratitude though.  No, I held the whip in my hand and beat him repeatedly.  I shoved a makeshift crown constructed of thorns on his brow so hard it punctured his skin and caused little rivelets of blood to trickle down his face.  I mocked him when he fell and the cross nearly crushed him.  And it was my left hand which held the nail steady as I raised the mallet in my right.

Christ did this for me without complaint.  He did it knowing I would continue to whip and mock him with each sin I committed.  He paid for it knowing I might not even accept him as my Savior.  For this perfect, unconditional love, I owe him everything.  Just as he didn’t only give up his life, so I can’t just give him mine.  I must give up my dignity, comfort, wants, time, money, talents… everything.  Without Him I would be without it anyways, as I would have been the one hanging from that cross.
Sin had left a crimson stain

Without Jesus I would be wearing red.  Perhaps even more than that – without Jesus I would be red.  Sin would be my identity.  The thing is, stains hard to hide.  Sure, you can try to cover them up for a while, but soon enough you’ll get another somewhere else and the more you accumulate the more difficult it is to hide them.  And with sin, they all leave the same crimson mark.  It’s not like a white lie is a little faded pink pin prick near the hem and adultery is a large blood red blot on the shoulder.  No, all are the same and are equally obvious to God.  Not only are they hard to hide, but they are also hard to wash out.

But he washed it white as snow
Here’s what I find interesting – Jesus washed out blood with blood.  The blood we have on our hands from all manner of sins, he cleanses it off with his own.  It doesn’t make sense.  I was baptized into His death and subsequent resurrection.  I was baptized into his suffering, His pain, his blood, and then resurrected with His triumph.  Through water and blood I am made as white and as pure as snow.

The idea of being washed also evokes the image of Jesus washing his disciple’s feet.  This simple act of service is reminiscent of his entire ministry and the sacrifice of his death.  His whole life seemed to be about washing – washing others with love, washing them physically in acts of service, and washing away their sins with his blood.  This is a reminder that if we want to imitate Him then we must wash others with love and service in any way we can.
Since Jesus paid for all the sin of all the people with all he had, I owe him all.  I must ask for His help in making Him my all so He may use me to reach all I meet, even if in the smallest way.  Lord, you paid it all, and I owe all to you.  Be my all.