This was my grandfather’s favorite song. Jesus paid it all. All to Him I owe. Sin had left a crimson stain, but He washed it white as snow. I remember singing it on Sundays at Five Points Baptist Church, a small rural congregation my grandparents helped start after the Depression. I spent summers here from the time I was six until I was a teenager. I remember my grandfather not being able to carry a tune, so he didn’t sing. But this was his song. And when the pastor would choose it on a summer Sunday morning service, I would look over at my grandfather and see him in an almost heavenly state of mind. Of all of the great stories he could tell, the story in song about Jesus giving His life for ours was his favorite.
In 1 Peter, I read about how Christ paid for all of the things I have done or will do before I go to be with Him. My sins, past, present and future, were paid for by Him. Christ’s death on the cross does not authorize me to sin, but He knew I would, and that someone had to pay that penalty. He died so I could live. And not just live here, on this earth, but in an eternal and perfected state in a paradise He describes as “pure, transparent, gold like glass” and “where nothing evil will be permitted.” I still have a hard time understanding how God Himself could bear the agony of an old splintered cross just to save me, and then provide for me a city of gold to live in with Him forever. But He did because of His love for me.
Love. That’s what God is. God is Love. Unconditional love. Love that is so strong and unfathomable in human terms that the God of all creation would come down to earth, be tormented and abused by His very own creation, and then lay down His life for the tormentors.
Wow. He did that for me? What a love. What a miracle. What a price.