An Expensive Relationship

“Saying, ‘The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain, and be raised the third day.’”  Luke 9:22 (KJV)

In light of Resurrection Day, I thought it important to process the price that Jesus paid to purchase a personal relationship with God for us. A review of the Levitical law indicates that sacrifice was required to compensate for man’s sin nature.  As sin separates us from a holy and righteous God (Isaiah 59:2), the blood of an animal sacrifice offered a tangible visual for the cost required to reconcile man to God.  More importantly, the Levitical system established man’s need for a Savior. In response, God sent His Son, Jesus Christ to fulfill the Law that we might be reconciled to Him (Matthew 5:17).

The Scriptures offer a vivid visual regarding the suffering and anguish Jesus Christ experienced as He offered Himself for us.

“Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; and being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him.” Hebrews 5:7-9 (KJV)

In Luke 9:22-24 we read: “Saying, ‘The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain, and be raised the third day.’ And he said to them all, ‘If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.’” (KJV)

The Scriptures call and arrest our attention to the fact that a relationship with Jesus Christ is only a reality when we parallel the price He paid. Just as He gave His life for us, we are also called to sacrifice our life for Him that we might experience the “fellowship of His sufferings” (Philippians 3:10). While, I am not endorsing a work-oriented salvation because we know that it is by grace that we are saved (Ephesians 2:8-9), we must recognize that having been bought with a price, it is appropriate that we in turn, offer ourselves as living sacrifices to God (Romans 12:1).

Jesus calls us to take up our cross. In other words, pay the price for a personal relationship with Him.  Because of our profession of faith we are sure to pay the cost for following our Master and forsaking a relationship with the world. These sacrifices may include but are not limited to: promotions, popularity, pleasures, family, friends, and in some cases, fortunes.

In addition, self-denial is diametrically opposed to our self-centered and pamper-pursuing nature.  From reading the text we realize that a rich and real relationship comes from walking down death row! During the rule of the Romans, it was a common practice for a condemned person to carry his cross and walk to his death. So let's get cross-eyed not only this week but every day:

Crucify: “And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.” Galatians 5:24 (KJV, emphasis mine)

Regularly: “And he said to them all, ‘If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” Luke 9:23 (KJV, emphasis mine)

Occupied: “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever.” John 14:16 (KJV, emphasis mine)

Sacrifice: “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.” Romans 8:16-17 (KJV, emphasis mine)

Sanctify: And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. John 17:19 (KJV, emphasis mine)

For the Glory of God,
 
PBKSR