Everything is on sale this Easter! I’ve been bombarded by emails, texts, catalogues and TV advertisements. There are sales on chocolates, soft-toy bunnies, eggs and hot cross buns. There are sales on camping gear, winter clothing, summer clothing, alcohol, food and winter sports equipment. If you can think of it, then there is probably a bargain to be had on it somewhere this Easter.
It has been said that everything and everybody has a price - it’s just a question of how much. This is as true today as it was at the very first Easter when a price was set on Jesus’ life. You can read about it in Matthew 26:14-16:
14 Then one of the Twelve—the man called Judas Iscariot—went to the chief priests 15 and said, “What are you willing to give me if I hand Jesus over to you?” So they weighed out 30 pieces of silver for him. 16 And from that time he started looking for a good opportunity to betray Him.
Judas Iscariot was one of Jesus’ closest friends. He was a member of the 12 disciples that followed Jesus during his 3 years of public ministry. Yet, despite all the incredible things that Judas had seen Jesus say and do, there was one thing that gripped him in the end: how much was Jesus worth?
It may seem incredibly base to you to name a price for a person’s life. How much is your life worth do you think? If Judas had concerns, he didn’t show it. He asked the chief priests in Jerusalem what they would pay to have Jesus delivered to them. The price was set at 30 pieces of silver. This was half of the average annual wage. So to put it in our terms – Jesus’ life was valued at about $AU37,500. Surely that is a very small price to pay for God’s Son.
At the first Good Friday Judas took his 30 pieces of silver and b etrayed Jesus with a kiss. It was a tragedy and one that he soon realised was a big mistake. When he saw that Jesus had been condemned to die Judas was full of remorse. He had betrayed the very Son of God. He returned his 30 pieces of silver and he sadly took his own life.
In his death Judas may have realised a truth that confronts us all: we cannot buy the one thing we truly need – forgiveness from God. There is no sale on God’s forgiveness. There is no amount of money that can buy it and yet, incredibly, God is prepared to give it to us anyway.
At Easter we celebrate the free gift that Jesus offers to us sinners: forgiveness from God. Jesus came into his creation knowing that we humans had one great need. He knew that in our hearts we are all a bit like Judas and that even the best of us has times when we act out of self-interest and not the way God would have us act. Jesus created a way for us to be forgiven for these failures, he said: “For this is My blood that establishes the covenant; it is shed for many for the forgiveness of sins.” (Matt 26:28).
Have you accepted the free Easter gift of forgiveness God has offered you? By putting your trust in Jesus you are guaranteed forgiveness for all your sins. Unlike Judas whose sins eventually weighed him down beyond what he could bear, in Jesus you are freely forgiven and no longer need to carry guilt and remorse before God. In Jesus there is complete forgiveness and no punishment of sin.
So let me finish with an Easter challenge: every time you see an Easter sale, why not say to yourself: there is nothing that I can buy that will ever compare to God’s incredible free gift to me in Jesus Christ. And, don’t just think it – why not stop and take the time to thank and praise God for Jesus!
If you would like to find out more about Jesus then please contact us about our next Christianity Explained Course (details in the SNAC).