25 September 2012

What Is Your Worth?

What are you worth? If you could put a price on your head, what value would you settle for? Let me put it this way, if someone kidnapped you, what do you think a fair price would be?
Jesus saved you from captivity.

I'm serious. Really think about a dollar figure...and try to be realistic.

Why am I asking you this? I think too many people under value themselves. We are always beating ourselves up over the dumbest stuff that doesn't even matter. We look in the mirror and see stupid, ugly, fat, zits, wrinkles, or disabilities and wish we weren't so undesirable. Half the time, married folks don't even believe their spouse when they tell them how wonderful or beautiful they are. The spouse just thinks they're bias or delusional.

Well, I want to paint a better picture of how amazing you are and how much God values you. But, this perception won't be like all the other images you've been given. What I'm about to tell you will stick with you for the rest of your life. This picture is straight from the Source (Rev 22:1).

Until recently, I've never had a good grasp on the whole Jesus dying on the cross thing. I thought I understood his sacrifice and what it meant, but it seems like every day that goes by it starts making more and more sense (John 19:28-29). Also, not being in church for about 5 months now has really helped. I've done this on purpose. This time away has allowed me to see things I would have never understood, otherwise.

Another reason why I'm writing about your value is because it's absolutely necessary to understand how much God loves you (Psa 108:8-12). The more you know how much he loves you and the more you know about yourself, the more you know your Father. After all, you were made just like him to be like him (Gen 1:26-27).

Now, let's get to the point.

So many Christians don't understand what exactly happened about 2000 years ago. They have the knowledge of Jesus dying on the cross and they believe his sacrifice washed away their sins (well I don't think they really believe it), but they don't understand the sacrifice God made.

Let's talk about one of the first animal sacrifices of major significance in the Bible. I'm referring to the Passover. You see, God's chosen people were in Egypt for about 430 years. Much of that time was spent in slavery by the Egyptians. The whole reason Egypt turned their backs on the Jews was because of how strong they were and how fast they were growing. Next thing you know, Pharaoh's all scared about the Jews taking over Egypt so he makes the Jews his captives. They work as slaves for so long and then Moses comes into the picture.

God sends Moses, a Levite, to go get the rest of his people out of Egypt. Once Moses appears, all this super bad stuff starts to happen. Egypt literally gets attacked by God. You have to understand something. Pharaoh must have been a really short guy with something to prove. Why do I say that? Well, because he gets all cocky and stubborn and won't let God's people go host a party for 3 days in the wilderness. All Moses asked for was to throw a party in God's name. No big deal, right? Well, Pharaoh didn't want them to have a good time. He wanted them to get back to work as slaves. Well, finally Moses and Aaron sent plague after plague to slowly destroy Egypt until they brought Pharaoh to his little knees (Exo 1-11).

The last plague was the Passover. This was the worst of them all. To sum it up, the Passover killed every first-born son and animal in all of Egypt. The only exception were the Jews that sacrificed a spotless lamb. They were told to spread the blood of the lamb over the right, left, and top of every doorpost of each home. Basically, the blood stains would represent the shape of a cross. If any home had the blood on their doorpost, the Angel of Death (Satan) would see the blood, skip the house, and move on to the next one. Thus, we call it the Passover (Exo 12:1-13:16).

Now, the really cool thing about this Passover lamb is that it represents Jesus. It's also one of the reasons they call Jesus the Lamb of God (John 1:29-34). The Passover lamb represented safety from the Angel of Death in Egypt. When the blood of the lamb covered the doorposts, Satan had to move along. All the first-born animals and kids inside the house were safe.

As you can see, God would never allow humans to be sacrificed. All throughout the Old Testament we see how God specifically commanded animals (lambs, goats, birds etc.) pay the ultimate price for human sin. But, how fair is that to the animals who died? This is exactly my point. They did nothing wrong. They were harmless, cute, little baby lambs that were just being who God created them to be. Then, we stupid people come along and commit all this wrong-doing which can only be washed by blood. However, God never makes us pay for it. He's always made someone else pay the price for our stupid decisions. Wow.

Let me help you understand what Jesus did awhile back. He and his Dad agreed that Jesus would come to earth and pay the price for all sin and for all mankind (Eph 2:1-10). This caused Satan to lose his power over all of God's people (Heb 2:14-18). Now, when Satan sees the blood of the Lamb, he has to keep on moving.

Your worth is not measured by what you have done, but by what has been done for you.*

Here's what I want you to see. God had one Son. He only had one Son in his entire family. Jesus was everything to his Father and his only Son was his pride and joy. He treasured him more than anyone or anything else in all of Heaven and Earth. In God's eyes, nothing compared to Jesus and no one has more value than he did.
Applying the lamb's blood during the Passover.

After thousands of years on planet Earth, God is noticing that his children are missing the point. They don't seem to believe who God created them to be and don't understand their value. Above all things, God was lonely and he wanted to have more kids. He simply wanted a bigger family. Also, he doesn't want them to be forced to follow orders like his angels have to. No, he wants to have a relationship with them. He wants to guide his children and help them make good decisions. After trying to repeatedly prove this point with every other Old Testament patriarch, God and Jesus follow through with their flawless plan.

The plan was to send Jesus to die for all our sins. Basically, God saw fit that your value was worth more than his own Son (John 3:16-17). He wanted us more than Jesus and he sent his most valuable possession to prove our worth. Yet, we don't believe it. We don't see ourselves as having much value at all. Frankly, what a waste of his Son's life.

God did all this on a chance that you'd want to hang out with him. I don't mean following all the rules or going to church. I mean make him your best friend. After all, he chose you first (Eph 1:3-14).

You're only worth what someone else is willing to pay.

Essentially, God said to Jesus, "Go down there and die. I'd rather have them more than you."

What is man that God is mindful of them... (Psa 8:4).

*Thanks Stuart!

1 comment :

Allison said...

Very interesting comparison and contrast here...the English major in me really enjoyed this blog and the other part of me just enjoyed reading it! :)