Buy it Free

Many years ago, I had a precious conversation with a friend’s daughter that touches me to this very day.  This sweet little girl, probably no more than five years old, greeted me in her driveway to ask if I would like to buy one of her homemade crafts. When I asked how much it cost, she replied with a grin, “It’s FREE!”

Without knowing it, my friend’s daughter brought Isaiah 55:1 to life for me.

“Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy, and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.”

Isaiah 55:1, ESV

None of us has the “money” to buy eternal life.  Even our “righteous deeds are like a polluted garment (see Isaiah 64:6).”  The Bible leaves no room for doubt – we have no righteousness without Jesus Christ. How then does one buy something for free?  Someone else paid for it, of course!

“Out of the anguish of His soul He shall see and be satisfied; by His knowledge shall the Righteous One, my Servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and He shall bear their iniquities. Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the many, and He shall divide the spoil with the strong, because He poured out His soul to death and was numbered with the transgressors; yet He bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors.” Isaiah 53:11-12, ESV

As we can see in Isaiah 53, Jesus paid dearly for our sin. We earned death from our sin, but Jesus graciously paid our debt with His life.

“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Romans 6:23, ESV

Praise God that Jesus won salvation for us with His righteous life (see Isaiah 53:10)!    The only One righteous is God’s Son, the Word made flesh (see John 1:14). Jesus gained victory over death and shares the spoils us when we receive Him!

“But to all who did receive Him, who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God…”

John 1:12, ESV

Do you want God’s love and salvation? Buy it free! 

Thank you, Jesus!

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You Put My Sins Behind Your Back

“He shall bear their iniquities.”

Isaiah 53:11

I read in Isaiah 53 that I am “accounted righteous” because Jesus took my sin.

“Out of the anguish of His soul He shall see and be satisfied; by His knowledge shall the Righteous One, My Servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and He shall bear their iniquities.” Isaiah 53:11, ESV

I’m off the hook. My debt is paid. Case closed.

Ironically, hearing the same message of forgiveness for over forty years, doesn’t make it easy to understand. Don’t get me wrong; I believe every word of Scripture to be true! It’s just that I have a hard time letting myself off the guilt hook.

Sometimes it takes a picture to help bring the truth to closer to the heart. 

The Gospel (which means good news!) tells me that Jesus Christ took all of my sin – past, present, and future – and I receive it by faith. Even my faith is a gift from God!  When we ask God to give us the faith to believe His Good News, He does.

In Colossians, Paul gives a vivid description of the Good News with the accounting language we find in Isaiah 53. 

“This He set aside, nailing it to the cross.”

Colossians 2:14

“And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our trespasses by cancelling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This He set aside, nailing it to the cross.” Colossians 2:13-14, ESV

Many of us in Christian circles have said or heard that “when God sees you, He doesn’t see your sin, but sees Jesus instead.” I have accepted this by faith, but have a hard time understanding it.  After all, isn’t God all-knowing? Doesn’t He see everything? I know the Holy Spirit convicts me when I sin, so surely, He has to see it! But then a phrase JUMPED off the page of my Bible. 

“….You have put all my sins behind Your back.” Isaiah 38:17, NIV

The truth went from my head to my heart when I read those words. I have heard it explained to me hundreds of times in dozens of different ways, but this time it was different. 

When I approach my Heavenly Father’s throne, I am wearing a beautiful white robe of righteousness that Jesus gave me. I confess my sin and He takes it from me and puts it behind His back!  This is how a sinful me can have a relationship with my holy Heavenly Father!  It’s not that God doesn’t care how I live my life. He sees the sin that hurts me and others, takes it from me, and puts it behind His back. As Paul said in Colossians, He canceled my debt and its legal demands. He set it aside. It doesn’t even count!

“He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His steadfast love toward those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does He remove our transgressions from us.” Psalm 103:10-12, ESV

This amazing gift was costly to my Savior. Jesus bore the penalty of my sin and felt God’s displeasure when He cried out on the cross, 

“….’My God, my God, why have You forsaken Me?’” Matthew 27:46, ESV

As my sins weighed heavy on Jesus’ back, God turned His head. Those sins, with their penalty, are still behind His back! 

Imagine you find out that a wealthy person paid all your bills to date, and any additional debt of yours will be directly withdrawn from his account, not yours. If you actually believe it, your life will look a lot different than if you don’t! In those precious moments when forgetful me remembers that I’m truly off the hook, I am blissfully thankful, overflowing with love, joy, peace, and other fruits of the Spirit (see Galatians 5:22-23)!

Because Jesus paid our debt I can sincerely wish you a HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

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