Read: John 19:30; Romans 8:1; Philippians 3:3-9
We had some work done this week. For several months, we have been asking the Lord for the best timing and workmen for its completion, and this was the right time. It was so nice to put receipts in the file that indicated that we had paid what we owed for the work that was done. Paid in full.
There is a Greek word tetelestai, that the Bible uses in John 19:30, and it can be translated as Paid in Full. That was the precious truth that Jesus conveyed from the cross. He triumphantly cried out that the debt for sin had been satisfied. When He rose victoriously from the grave, His resurrection was the proof that He had been triumphant over Satan, Colossians 2:15; Hebrews 2:14-15. The debt was paid. Not with money but with His blood, 1 Peter 1:18-19. To see a bit of the magnitude and scope of the beauty of what Jesus did for us, let's compare the picture of Paid in Full using both the debt we paid this week and what Jesus did for us through His atoning sacrifice, 1 John 2:1-2.
The Debt We Paid: We paid for specific work that was done. We might need additional work done by the same workmen in the future. If that is the case, we will owe another debt. Although the work that was completed appears to have been done very well, we can't say that we will never owe another payment.
The Debt Jesus Paid: The scope of the forgiveness Jesus secured for me included payment for every sin I had ever or will ever commit. Even those I had forgotten or didn't even know were sinful when I committed them. Because of Jesus, we are continually cleansed from all unrighteousness, 1 John 1:7. We stand positionally holy and blameless only because of the Savior's work on our behalf, Ephesians 1:3-4.
Let's pause a moment right here and think about how we can show our love and thankfulness to Jesus for His gift. To put it in perspective, let's think once again of a workman who does a job for us, but let's not stop there. What if he offered us free work for the rest of our lives? What if he said he would not only do work like we had had done by him but any job we would ever have. There would be no charge. All he wanted in return is that we would display the good work he had done for us and speak well of him to others through both our words and how we treated whatever he fixed for us. Wouldn't we want to sing the praises of such a man and tell others of his kindness and good work. How much more should we desire to magnify Jesus and what He has done for us!
Some people are concerned that if we stress the incredible scope of Jesus' grace that we might take His unfathomable kindness for granted and live recklessly. Forgetting what the Lord has done for us! Paul spoke about this in Romans 6:1-4 and indicated that it should never be the case. When we think of the sweetness and scope of the Lord's forgiveness, our desire should be to honor Him in how we live and tell others of His grace when we have the chance.
The Debt We Paid: It was our money that was given to the workman. Of course, that's how it is done. We pay our debts in full as we are able, and we're understandably glad about that.
The Debt Jesus Paid: The only way to receive the payment Jesus made is to admit that we can't pay one penny of what we owe. The old chorus says: “Nothing in my Hand I Bring; Only to the Cross I Cling.”
Let's think of this in human terms by once again thinking of the workman. What if, prior to his doing the work, the workman said you could never afford his price. What if he told you that he would do the work only if you wouldn't try to give him anything and that he wanted you to tell others of both your inability to pay and his generosity! Yes, I know that would never happen, but thinking about being told you have nothing to give toward a debt gives me a little glimpse into why it might be hard for many to receive grace. Our pride says we can offer something. Jesus' gift of grace says we can't, Ephesians 2:8-9.
In Philippians 3:3-9, the once proud Paul spoke of how at one time, he had relied on his standing and works to obtain favor with God; however, in verse 9 he spoke of those things as being worthless compared to the gift of righteousness he had received. Once Paul discovered grace, he told everyone he could about it. He no longer stood on any earthly platform of accomplishment; instead, he magnified what Jesus had done for him, 1 Timothy 1:12-17.
The Debt We Paid: It only eliminated the debt we personally owed. No one else could receive work done because of the money we paid.
The Debt Jesus Paid: On the other hand, Jesus paid the debt for everyone's sins. He was forsaken by the Father, Matthew 27:46 and became sin for us, 2 Corinthians 5:21; therefore, we who belong to Jesus will never be forsaken by God. He completely once-and-for-all paid an unfathomable debt that covered the sins of the whole world, 1 John 2:2. Sadly, countless people will never receive the gift He is still holding out. Today, the Savior continues to seek and save the lost, Luke 19:10, and each person has the free will to choose whether or not to receive God's offer.
As the song says:
‘There's Room at the Cross for You!
Though Millions Have Come
There's Still Room for One
There's Room at the Cross for You.’
Jesus Continues to hold out the most beautiful PAID IN FULL!