Holy Week, Monday: Our Ransom is Paid

>> Monday, April 6, 2009

Jesus said, "For the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many." ~Mark 10:45

I have to admit, I never fully understood what Mark wrote in his Gospel until recently. Like so many, I have always been quick to judge my own actions and determine my own fate, believing that a difficult or painful event was a consequence of my sins. But I was wrong, because even when we do sin, the Bible says, "The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love". (~Psalm 145:8) It was my own insecurity that stood in the way of truly appreciating the free gift of Christ's death and resurrection. For most of us, it is hard to believe that we would just be given the gift of our salvation without any conditions. But that is exactly what happened: Jesus paid our ransom IN FULL, and that is a truth many of us find difficult to live by.

In The Journey, author Billy Graham explains, "Eternal life is a gift. Many misunderstand this and still think they must earn their salvation by their own good works. But we can never be good enough to earn our way into heaven, because God's standard is perfection. Our only hope is Christ." He continues, "Few things cripple a Christian quicker than a lack of assurance about his or her salvation... Who is responsible for His [Jesus] death? We all are. Because He voluntarily went to the cross for one reason: to become the final and complete sacrifice for our sins. If we had never sinned, He never would have needed to die".

We often speak of unconditional love in our family life, in our marriage, and in our friendships. Truth is, by human nature, we are programmed to expect reciprocity: a mutually fulfilling relationship, needing to feel validated, meeting in the middle, I'll scratch your back if you scratch mine. It's a very wonderful concept to strive for, but one that can only come to fruition through a commitment to Christ. Because His love is truly unconditional. He died for us expecting nothing in return. And if we can place our trust solely and completely in the grace of God, perhaps then we can learn to love others without needing to be loved back.

There are people who touch our lives with a simple act of kindness or a word of encouragement, and yet expect nothing in return. I have some dear friends who have made a difference in my life, and oddly enough, I've never even met them:

Lenni P., Lovely Cee, Ginny C., Dawn in NY, Jen McG, Sharon in Australia, Denise B., Amy M. from Colorado, Jennifer S., and Angela L.

I love you guys. Thank you for being you.

4 comments:

Petra Castelijn April 7, 2009 at 5:45 PM  

and thank you for being you! You changed my life without even knowing it...but you did, with your beautiful art and words. I will always be thankful for that.

xP.

Jennifer Stewart April 7, 2009 at 6:07 PM  

You were one of my very first inspirations years ago, sharing your beautiful family with us thru your God given talents. I remember being so nervous to email you, thinking you'd think it odd that I would do that. But of course you didn't...so gracious and kind. Thank you for being YOU. :) You still inspire me in so many more ways!

Love,
Jennifer

Anonymous April 7, 2009 at 8:27 PM  

If I could possibly an literally have you in my "Heaven in a Jar"....I would! Your work of art plus remarkable messages have touched countless hearts in myriad ways. YOU are God's grace to so many of us more than you can ever fathom. Thank you for being a friend through time, space and distance. Thank you for being MY friend dear Mellette.
Heaps of love, Tons of hugs and bushels of kisses....Lenni P.

Lovely gd Cee April 17, 2009 at 11:53 AM  

This is an amazing post. This is basic Christianity and few understand this revelation. It is what God and Christ intended, for us to receive salvation without having to do “extra” good works because the word said that our own work is as filthy rags. He freely gave the gift and in return we just need to freely receive it and enjoy it to its fullest- but it’s hard to comprehend that. We are indeed forgiven and He did it once and for all and people say ‘ so what now ? Do we just freely keep sinning?’ no, because I believe that it is the goodness of God that leads people to repentance. I’ve watched “The Passion of Christ” and I personally thought it was quite anointed and I imagine it was more or less accurate about what Christ went through for us- and I just finally understood of the passage: by His stripes we are healed. I can’t explain why Christians are still finding themselves sick with divers diseases and why things are the way they are and seemingly God is allowing it but the word said His thoughts are higher than our thoughts and I still believe and I am convinced that He is in control. There’s nothing else a human can do to enter the heaven but just receive the gift. It is hard to think of it that way and change our way of thinking since we’ve been taught falsely by condemning words, it’s been engrainedL I am absolutely blessed by your entry. It’s a perfect Easter post. Thank youJ

Recommended Reading

  • TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD by Harper Lee
  • THE JOURNEY by Billy Graham
  • THE ROAD by Cormac McCarthy
  • FLOWERS FOR ALGERNON by Daniel Keyes
  • THE KITE RUNNER by Khaled Hosseini
  • CHARACTER IS DESTINY by John McCain
  • EPICENTER by Joel Rosenberg
  • THE SHACK by William Paul Young

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