What is the most expensive thing you can think of? A Lamborghini? Jewels? Houses?
What makes something expensive? Is is merely the intrinsic worth of an item, or does sentimental value play into it?
If somebody were to try and buy either of the following two items, which would be more expensive?
A Ferrari or
Wait, you can't buy Christmas. It's a day.
Ok, play along with me. If someone could buy and sell a day, would you give it up for a million dollars? Maybe if it were just any day... but what about Christmas day? Hot chocolate or coffee, a crackling fire, a five year old understanding how much fun it is to give mommy a gift, singing Christmas carols while preparing dinner, peace, quiet, time with those you love and who love you....
So, there you have it. Most people who have that wouldn't sell that morning for the world. Those who don't have that would give the world to get it.
But there is something else that costs so much.... and yet it is totally worth it.
I was studying for one of my Bible classes this past weekend and there was a chapter in the textbook on forgiveness. I thought I knew it all. But I didn't. One thing I had never heard was this: forgiveness always has a cost. A very high cost in some cases.
Think about being forgiven for your sins. The only thing that can pay for sins is death. Christ gave up His life to make that payment for you. But think about when you ask God to forgive you for your sins. Does He ask you to pay for them?
No. They've been paid for. He absorbed the cost Himself. Through giving up His Son to death because of our sin, the penalty was paid, but He doesn't demand restitution for the loss He suffered. He gives forgiveness to all who ask.
Notice I don't say say to everyone. Only those who ask. We have to ask for forgiveness for it to be given. True, the offended party can overlook the wrong and not develop bitterness or anger over it, but that is not forgiveness. Someone has to pay the price for the wrong (not the ultimate price, but the immediate inter-relational price).
If someone dents your car, is it forgiveness to ask them to pay to fix the dent?
No. That is justice. That is right. That is perfectly acceptable. But it is not forgiveness.
Forgiveness is paying to fix the dent yourself.
Why would anyone want to do that??? Well, because maybe the other person can never possibly be able to make restitution for the damage.
And what happens if no one ever pays to fix the damage? Well...
Well, you tell me.
Because of Him,