Picture the Cost of Your Salvation
by Joan Clayton
Imagine you are Jesus. You look down and see the hopelessness of mankind. Every imaginable kind of sin abounds. Oppression, injustice, tyranny, and all doing what is right in their own eyes. You know the only way to save the people. It has to be.
You will experience every pain and agony ever known to man. You will take on the sins of the world. Worst of all, you will be completely alone, separated from the Father in outer darkness. You dread it. You pray "If it can be, please take this cup from me. Nevertheless, thy will be done."
The soldiers begin to beat you. The whips with cruel talons tear your flesh. With every lash blood flows and splatters to the ground. Muscles and tissue are torn until you are nearly unrecognizable. They make you bear your own cross on your shoulders and its splinters rub against raw flesh. The crowd jeers, screaming insults and mockery. The soldiers pound the nails into your hands and feet.
The soldiers laugh and gamble for your clothes. They are careful not to make you die right away. That would be too merciful. The piercing pain is indescribable, but You are too weak to scream. Flies and gnats settle on your eyes and open wounds. You fight for air and endure the searing agony. Your muscles cramp, pushing your weight hard against the iron spikes in your feet. Death would be welcome, but you know it may take hours and hours. Exhaustion, dehydration, and a broken heart finally do their work: "It is finished!"
Dear friends, this is the cost of your salvation. This is the heart of the Christian faith. No other so-called "god" ever died on a cross to save mankind. Jesus did not remain in the grave, like all the others. His tomb is empty!
If you do not believe that Jesus died for you and rose and is coming back for you, then for you this life is nothing but disillusionment and discouragement. You have no hope beyond the grave, no hope of heaven. Without the resurrection, there is nothing to believe.
"And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men"
(1 Cor. 15:17-19 NIV).
Our youngest granddaughter, Kallie, at age 10, wrote to the heart of the high price of our salvation. It is one of my treasures and I share it with you:
"As I watched the cross, I shed my tears. I should have been there on the cross. As the crown of thorns sat on His head, I shudder. As they gamble for His clothes, my heart is heavy. As they pierce His side, I cry. After that there is no more to see. I walk home wondering what life is worth living for. In a few days I know what life is living for. He is risen!"