Devotional

“ For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And it was not paid with mere gold or silver, which lose their value. It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God.” – 1 Peter 1:18-19.

In the marketplace, the price paid for an object establishes it’s value. Thirty-five years ago, the idea of paying $4 for a cup of coffee would be considered ridiculous, yet today, people pay it. And because people regularly walk into Starbucks and pay $4, they have established the value. But how do you establish a value for the price Jesus Christ paid for our sins?

Isaiah 53:4–5 says, “Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.

There is no question who Isaiah is talking about here. This is one of the clearest passages in all of Scripture about what Jesus Christ did for each of us. Isaiah tells us that He was punished. He was wounded. To be sure, there is a lot happening here. And during it all, He bore our griefs and carried our sorrows, that He was pierced for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities. Upon Him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and by His wounds we are healed.

Jesus paid the penalty for the sins of all humankind on the cross. Buried in a tomb, He rose again three days later as proof that His mission to conquer sin and death had been accomplished. Jesus appeared to His disciples and then returned to heaven with the promise that He would return again someday. Jesus claimed to be much more than a wise man or teacher. He claimed to be God, willing to die for His creation so that their love relationship could be restored (Romans 5:10). 

So what do we do? We trust Him. We look forward to that day when we will stand before His throne, repeating the wonder that He died for one such as us. Yes, we will trust Him today, and forget about our scars, our imperfections, our failures and our shortcomings. We will stop condemning ourselves for our past. We will relinquish the shame we’ve harbored for so long and we will abandon our self-absorbed efforts to make ourselves worthy. My prayer is that we will remember what Jesus did on the cross and live for Him every day.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Jesus’ death paid a price we could never pay on our own. We can never earn God’s love—it is freely, graciously given. Is this a difficult concept for you to understand?
  2. Do you sometimes feel like you have to earn God’s love, or get all the “rules” right?