Oh the Price He Paid

by Peg Rhone

John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” This verse succinctly states the greatest gift, as well as the greatest invitation, ever given to mankind, God’s only begotten son, Jesus Christ. He was the Passover lamb whose soul was an offering for sin. (Isa. 53:10; I Cor. 5:7) His “passion”, that is to say his suffering and crucifixion, is one of the most written about subjects in human history. It is the price that bought our salvation.

I Corinthians 6:20
For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

The lord’s supper is a time to remember that price, a time of acknowledgment and thanksgiving to God for His supreme gift, His son. Christ instituted this memorial himself. (Mat. 26:20-30; Mark 14:17-26; Luke 22:14-20; John 13:1,2; I Cor. 11:17-30)

When Christ our Passover, was sacrificed for us Isaiah 52:14 says that, “his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men.” In other words, no one has ever suffered the way he suffered. A brief overview of the events that took place for the 40 hours prior to his death details the reality of the relentless evil, pain, and emotional suffering, which our Lord bore for us.

The events began when Judas betrayed Jesus with a kiss. Judas was one of the twelve apostles, one of his chosen associates. Jesus was then hauled before Annas and then Caiaphas in an illegal night trial. During that trial they spit on him, lashed him around the face with a whip like cane, and ridiculed him. Finally they put a bag over his head and beat him with their fists and rods saying “Prophesy who smote thee”. Brutally battered and beaten in the head and face, Jesus walked out of the hall and saw Peter, once again deny him.

He was then taken to Pontius Pilate, who found no cause to punish him, and so Pilate sent him to Herod. All Herod was interested in was seeing a miracle as a form of personal amusement. Denied that pleasure, Herod had Christ arrayed in royal robes, mocked by his men, and then returned to Pilate.

Jesus again appeared before Pilate, who appealed to the Judeans three times to release him. During the course of the morning Pilate had Jesus scourged and beaten. The soldiers placed a purple robe on Jesus, platted a crown of thorns, and crushed them into his head. Pilate brought this pitiful, beaten form before the people and said, “Behold the man!” in hopes that Jesus’ gruesome appearance would cause the crowd to pity him and let him go. Pilate said, “I bring him forth to you, that ye may know that I find no fault in him.” But the mob cried more vehemently, “Crucify him. Crucify him!” And so Pilate sentenced Jesus to be crucified.

The time was approximately twelve, noon, on Tuesday. For the rest of that day until the following morning Jesus was turned over to a cohort of Roman soldiers; men skilled in the art of torturing a man while keeping him alive and conscious. A cohort consists of four to six hundred men, gathered for the single purpose of torturing and mocking this one man.

Matthew 27:27-31
Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the common hall, and gathered unto him the whole band of soldiers.
And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe.
And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews!
And they spit upon him, and took the reed, and smote him on the head.
And after that they had mocked him, they took the robe off from him, and put his own raiment on him, and led him away to crucify him.

These four short verses encompass approximately 20 hours of sadistic torture. The soldiers stripped Jesus of his robe, which would have pulled dried blood and scabs from his body. They tied him to a post, and brutally flogged him with a “Cat-o-nine tails”. This whip had many tethers, and at end of each thong there were pieces of metal or bone that would grab into the skin. This instrument of torture would have torn large chunks of flesh from his body. Or, it could also have been used to skin him alive, a common practice in those days.

The soldiers would also have used another kind of whip called a “Blacksnake” which was tapered at the end so as to cut deep lacerations into the victim’s body. The pain that Jesus was suffering is impossible to describe or fathom.

The Bible clearly paints a picture of our savior’s love, endurance, and obedience in the face of unparalleled evil. Fulfilling the prophecy given in Isaiah that, “his visage was so marred more than any man.”

Matthew 27:27-31
Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the common hall, and gathered unto him the whole band of soldiers.
And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe.
And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews!
And they spit upon him, and took the reed, and smote him on the head.
And after that they had mocked him, they took the robe off from him, and put his own raiment on him, and led him away to crucify him.

The next morning Jesus was led from the judgment hall only to suffer the most ignominious death possible, crucifixion. It was a slow, painful, and humiliating death. As the crowd jeered and threw taunts at Jesus the soldiers drove large spikes through his wrists and anklebones. The soldiers knew exactly where to place them so as to hit the nerve, causing excruciating pain every time the victim took a breath.

Our Messiah hung on that cross for six excruciating hours. But even in his battered condition, he still loved and blessed others. From the cross Jesus had the presence of mind to promise salvation to a malefactor (Luke 23:43) and to commend the care of his mother to a disciple whom he loved (John 19:26,27). But perhaps the most astounding act that took place form the cross was our savior’s forgiveness to those who had done these horrible things unto him. Surely an object lesson in forgiveness for us all.

Luke 23:33,34
And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left.
Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.

What kept him hanging on that cross? The simple answer is – LOVE!

John 15:13
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

John 3:16
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

He did not shed his love when we were so wonderful and worthy, but rather when we were dead in trespasses and sin. According to Psalm 49:7-9, no man can redeem himself or his brother, only God could redeem man through His son, Jesus Christ (v15).

I John 4:10
Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation [payment] for our sins.

Romans 5:6-8
For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.
For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.
But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

There is an old adage, “That which costs nothing is valueless.” God put a value on our life when He paid the highest price, the life of His dear son. Jesus Christ is the greatest gift ever given to mankind. Without him, we are nothing. That truly is God’s grace.

Romans 6:1,2
What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?

Romans 6:1-12 clarifies how we should live. Once we accept Jesus as our Lord we identify with the accomplished work of Christ. The Bible says we “were baptized into his death.” His death was the payment for our sins. Therefore, just like Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too are supposed to walk in newness of life! In other words we are supposed to live as those who were dead and are now alive.

Perhaps you have met someone who narrowly escaped death. Maybe they were in car with three others who all died except for them. Or they lived through a disease that had killed many others, but not them. How thankful are these people? Don’t they usually feel that they have some special purpose? They ask God, “Why have you spared me?” Well, God says that we are to live as those who are alive from the dead, and I Corinthians 6:20 answers that question “Why?” for us.

I Corinthians 6:20
For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

We are to be a glory to God! We are to walk in newness of life! We are to no longer serve sin! We are to believe that we shall live with our Messiah in the resurrection! We are to be faithful unto the end!

We do all of this by discerning, having insight and understanding, into what Christ’s life, death and resurrection means to us. That we are bought with a price. That we are set free to glorify and serve God.

I Corinthians 11:23-28 gives the pattern for the lord’s supper.

I Corinthians 11:23-28
For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread:
And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.
After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.
For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.
Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.
But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.

According to J.B. Phillips translation, verse 26 reads as follows, “Whosoever eats the bread or drinks the wine without due thought is making himself like one of those who allowed the Lord to be put to death without discerning [having insight and understanding] who he was.

We need to recognize, to discern, the price he paid. He saved us because he loved us. But he did not save us to squander that which cost him everything on the lusts of our flesh. That is why we are to be a living sacrifice to God.

Our loving response to God’s gift is to live for him, to the glory of God, all the days of our life here on earth. This is the proper response commensurate to the gift of Jesus Christ. This is the proper attitude when attending the lord’s supper, to remember and appreciate the price he paid.

An audiocassette of this teaching is available by writing:

Light of Christ Ministries, GA
P. O. Box 1687
Dawsonville, GA 30534