Scripture: Mark 8:31-38:
This morning a few minutes before our worship service I noticed two of our preschool children running around and each were pulling behind them long chains. They were not big heavy chains but they were chains nonetheless. I immediately thought of how so many of us are pulling behind us or we are in bondage to things in this world that weigh us down and keep up enslaved.
Our sin had, as it were, kidnapped up and put us in a prison of our own making, far from GOD, in the chains of iniquity, under GOD’s holy wrath, and powerless to free ourselves. One of the images the Bible uses for our liberation is ransom.
Read Psalm 49:7-8: “Truly no man can ransom another, or give to GOD the price of his life, for the ransom of their life is costly and can never suffice.” But GOD goes on in verse 5 and says, “But GOD will ransom my soul from the power of Sheol.” Man can’t but GOD can and GOD will!
This is what is happening as JESUS plots His death on the way to Jerusalem. The Son of Man came to give His life as a ransom for many. This is all GOD’s idea. It’s not JESUS against GOD. It’s GOD through JESUS. GOD wants us to see through His redemptive plan His great love for us. (v. 32-33).
In v. 34 JESUS is trying to explain, treasure Me more than your own comfort and your own safety. The opposite of self-denial is the idol of self-gratification, and the opposite of cross-bearing is the idol of self-preservation. You will have your life forever if you treasure Me enough to lose it for My sake (v. 35).
If you gain the whole world by valuing it above JESUS—by being more proud of it than of Him—it won’t be able to save you in the end. There is nothing you can pay for your soul when you have scorned what JESUS has accomplished. Gaining the whole world will be of no use to you (V. 36). In v. 37 JESUS says, there’s nothing you can give in return for your soul.
Do you hear JESUS’ cry for us to get it, “if you’re not proud of Me and you don’t cherish Me and what I did for you—if you want to put yourself with the goats that value their reputation in the goat herd more than they value me—then that’s the way I will view you when I come. You will perish with the people who consider Me an embarrassment.
JESUS paid it all . . . all to Him I owe . . .
JESUS is Risen . . . !