How Much Did Your Forgiveness Cost?
“Through the blood of his Son, we are set free from our sins. God forgives our failures because of his overflowing kindness.” (Ephesians 1:7, GW)
It may surprise you to read this, but it’s not the life of Jesus that saves you. You’re not saved by his teachings either. You’re saved through his death and Resurrection.
Jesus’ life gives you a good example to follow. And his teachings offer guidance and wisdom. But you need more than that. You need a Savior.
Why? The Bible says you’ve blown it. You’ve made mistakes. You’re not perfect. You don’t measure up to you own standards, much less God’s. You -- just like every other human who’s ever lived -- have sinned.
The Bible also says justice demands punishment. If you do the crime, you pay the time. If you break God’s laws, you pay God’s penalty. According to the Bible, “the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23 NLT).
In other words, somebody has to pay for all the things you’ve done wrong in life. And this is where God said, “I’ll do it!” He stepped up to the plate. Jesus Christ -- God in human form -- was sent to Earth. He said, in effect, “I will pay for your sins.”
His death and Resurrection opened the door for your salvation. When Jesus died on the cross, everything you’ve ever done wrong -- and everything wrong you will ever do -- was paid for. “Through the blood of his Son, we are set free from our sins. God forgives our failures because of his overflowing kindness” (Ephesians 1:7 GW).
Jesus dying on the cross for you showed two things:
- How much your forgiveness cost. The highest price you can pay for anything is to give your life for it. That’s what Jesus did. Grace is free, but it is not cheap.
- How much God values you. You matter so much to God that Jesus willingly died for you on the cross.
You may think you’re worthless because of things you’ve done wrong. But Jesus says, “No. You’re priceless. I was willing to give my life in order to pay for your sins.”
With his arms stretched out on the cross, it was as if Jesus was saying, “I’m willing to die for you, because you mean this much to me.”
A good example and wise teachings weren’t enough to cover your sin. You needed a Savior, and Jesus loved you enough to be that for you. If you haven’t accepted his salvation yet, now is the time.
Talk It Over
Some people value Jesus simply as a wise teacher or good example. Why are those things not adequate?
In what ways are you still making yourself pay for your sins, even when Jesus has already covered them with his death and Resurrection?
Jesus values you so much that he willingly died for you. How should this knowledge affect how you live your daily life?
Trust Jesus as Savior
You may have respected Jesus as a teacher or tried to follow his example -- but have you trusted him as your Savior? If you’re ready to trust him today, pray this:
“Father, thank you for loving me and making it possible for me to spend eternity with you. I confess I don’t deserve it. I have sinned against you and lived according to my selfish desires. Because of my sin, I need a Savior. Thank you for sending Jesus to pay for my sins by dying in my place.
“Jesus, today I want to accept you as my Lord and Savior. Thank you for releasing me from judgment and offering me a fresh start. Thank you for giving me eternal life. Most of all, thank you for loving me so much. Jesus, I want you to be my Lord, the manager of my life, from this day forward. Amen.”
If you just prayed to accept Jesus, please email me at Rick@PastorRick.com and let me know about it. I’d like to send you some free materials to help you start your journey with Jesus.
This devotional © 2021 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.