Wednesday, August 19, 2015
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It's always moving when it comes Memorial Day and they have all these families of veterans and people who were lost in a war or a battle and all these very poignant stories on television and in the news. You know, Memorial Day and days like it, they're different when you're a veteran or the loved one of someone who died for America's freedom. Because every day is Memorial Day. Because freedom's price for you has a name, a face, an empty chair at the table.
During the Memorial Day observances this past Memorial Day, I heard some veterans and some families asking a haunting question. It's embodied in a statement that came from one combat veteran, a former Navy Seal, and a current TV commentator. It really touched me. He said: "It's important for veterans who fought to believe the sacrifice was worth it." The question especially arises when the ground that people bled and died to take is then later lost to the enemy.
"Was the sacrifice worth it?" Whatever the battle, whatever the war, that's what the warrior wants to know.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "A Life Worth the Price."
As I sat in church recently, a sobering thought hit me. It's one I haven't been able to shake. Does Jesus look at me and ask that question, "Was the sacrifice worth it?"
He didn't risk His life. He gave His life. He came here knowing that He alone could pay the price for the sin of the world – for my sin. "The righteous for the unrighteous." That's the way the Bible says it. Nothing could break His heart more than to see the ground He died to liberate in our lives being lost to the enemy. Like us continuing to hang onto the junk that He bled to deliver us from.
In our word for today from the Word of God in 1 Peter 2:24 it says, "He personally carried our sins in His own body on the cross, so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right." Does He now say to us, "I died so you wouldn't have to do that anymore"?
Sin is so much more than breaking rules. It's really about breaking Jesus' heart. Like when His blood-bought child fills their heart with pornographic fantasies. Or uses their body – the "temple of the Holy Spirit" (the Bible calls it) – for the very sexual sins He died for. "You are not your own (the Bible says); you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body" (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).
It's got to wound Him again when we wound others that He died for with our runaway mouth. Or we just keep lying. Or we abandon our marriage vows. Or succumb to pride, bitterness, unforgiveness, or so many other dark impulses unworthy of His life's sacrifice. The Bible says, "Conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the Good News about Christ" (Philippians 1:27).
I guess the most hurtful way we can dishonor the blood-sacrifice of Jesus is to think that there's some other way we can get rid of our sin or get into heaven. Like being good, or being religious. Listen, if there was any other way my spiritual death penalty could have been paid, Jesus would never have endured the agony of the cross. Why would He do that if there was another way?
Our faith in anything else to make our peace with God says, "Jesus, what You did on the cross was not enough. I'm going to do something." To honor the unspeakable blood sacrifice of God's only Son is to abandon any other hope but Him. And then to drop the junk that killed Him. Have you ever done that?
Have you ever had your Jesus moment when you've put the life He died for, paid for with His blood, in His hands? If you've never done that, maybe He's talking to you today about this being your day. If you want to do that, I hope you'll go to our website and let me meet you there and help you know how to begin this relationship. It's ANewStory.com. If you want to talk with someone, text us at 442-244-WORD.
He looks at me. He looks at you, and then He looks at the nail prints in His hands and He asks: "Was the sacrifice worth it?"