What would you give in exchange for life? What is precious to you? Would you cut off your arms to save your life? Poke out your eyes? What do you prize above all things? Would you give it in exchange for another’s life? Personally, I question myself.
Millions of people give blood to help save complete strangers’ lives. Some people are willing to give up their kidneys, parts of their liver in order to save a loved one. Several months ago, I saw a news account of a coffee-shop owner who gave a kidney to a customer. Would I risk my life for another? I think about police officers and firemen who risk their lives every day to protect us–soldiers who fight to keep us free. I think about Christians around the world who risk their lives to study the Bible, to share the Gospel, to simply profess their faith in Christ. Would I do that? I’d like to believe I would, but I don’t know. God knows.
God gave Egypt to the Babylonians as ransom for Israel. He gave Ethiopia and Seba in exchange for Israel’s release. Even though Israel was stiffnecked and stubborn, God gave life in exchange for life. He did this because…because He loved Israel.
”Because you are precious in My sight and honored, and because I love you, I will give men in return for you and peoples in exchange for your life.” Isaiah 43:4
They were precious in His sight. He loved them. Today God continues to ransom those whom He loves. Through Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son, He has paid the final ransom for our sin-blackened souls. There are no more sacrifices to be made. No more exchanges. Jesus is the propitiation–the appeasing offering–for our sin, the wages for our death sentence. Paid in full.
Because God so loved the world, He gave His only begotten Son to die on Calvary to set us free from the bondage of sin and everlasting punishment. Because He first loved me and you, He gave. Simply “because”.
“Because you are precious in My sight…and because I love you.”
“I love Him because He first loved me.” 1 John 4:19
Because He loves me, and because I love Him…What will I give in exchange?
What does He ask of us? Go, tell, baptize, make disciples, teach. So we can’t teach. So we can’t make disciples. So we can’t baptize. So we can’t go. Can we at least tell? Can we at least tell others what God gave in exchange for our lives?