Lent Day 21: What’s The Cost?
“In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” — Philippians 2:5-11
Philippians 2 says this of Jesus Christ: “He made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death”. While his death was a clear sacrifice, the fact is that Jesus’ entire life was marked by sacrifice—giving up his rights as a King for the sake of others.
From the moment he was born, his feet were always walking toward the ultimate sacrifice of that brutal Roman cross. Have you ever wondered why sacrifice is so central to God’s plan of redemption and reconciliation? Why couldn’t God just forgive people of their sins without sacrifice?
If you think about what it means to bring about reconciliation in a human relationship, you can see how sacrifice is always part of the process.it forces a personal cost. If you get angry at someone over some issue, to reconcile means work. It will cost you something to forgive because you have to absorb the pain of the offense. You will have to sacrifice your right to be angry and move toward forgiveness. Actually, both parties have to pay a price. The bottom line is that without sacrifice there is no reconciliation. There is only hardness of heart and death of relationship.
In a very similar way, we must sacrifice in order to move toward God with confession and repentance. We must come to the end of ourselves, killing any sense of pride and self-righteousness. But we are not the ones who move first. It is not our sacrifice that saves us. God’s plan of redemption is primarily about his sacrifice, not ours. I read once that redemption is a term of value, so there must be a cost involved. To redeem means to buy back, to regain possession of something in exchange for payment. Because we are created in the image of God and he loves us, he considered us worth the cost of redemption. However, the full cost of redeeming a human being is staggering. What does it cost to buy a person back from the realm of sin and death, from the reign of Satan? The cost is commensurate with the destruction that sin, death, and Satan have brought to humanity. The cost is beyond our ability to pay. No amount of sacrifice on our part would enable us to cover the cost. Thankfully, the full cost fell on Jesus. All of the curses of the Fall, most notably our sin and the resulting death, were placed on Christ. His sacrifice makes our reconciliation with God possible. Thanks be to God!
If you are still hanging on to the sins in your life, my friend, it’s time to allow God into your life. Nothing in this world is worth the eternal salvation Jesus Christ offers us!