Bought and Paid For

A few weeks ago, our pastor preached a great message in a series on generosity. He read from a passage in Exodus, and I spent some time pondering its meaning.

“When the Lord brings you into the land of the Canaanites, as he swore to you and your fathers, and shall give it to you, you shall set apart to the Lord all the first that opens the womb. All the firstborn of your animals that are males shall be the Lord’s. Every firstborn of a donkey you shall redeem with a lamb, or if you will not redeem it you shall break its neck. Every firstborn of man among your sons you shall redeem.” {Exodus 13:11-13 ESV}

He continued by explaining that the donkey was unclean, and it must be redeemed by a lamb, which was considered clean. The unclean was redeemed by the clean. I was somewhat dumbfounded as this thought rolled around in my head. Why would you take something clean, unblemished, in good condition and kill it to redeem the thing that is unclean, dirty, worthless? This is backwards. It doesn’t make sense.

It doesn’t make sense to our human thought process. But the unclean thing is not worthy to pay the price that is owed. The price must be paid by an unblemished, worthy sacrifice. It is no sacrifice to kill the unworthy animal. It is a true sacrifice to take the one who has value and worth and sacrifice it to God.

So it is with our Savior. He is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. His perfect, sinless, beautiful life was sacrificed to redeem our sinful, unworthy souls. We certainly don’t deserve it. We could never earn it. We will never be able to repay it. He knew all those things, yet He willingly gave His life away.

I don’t think about this enough, the unbelievable price He paid to buy eternal life for my wretched soul. It is a staggeringly beautiful reminder that I owe Him everything.

“For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person – though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die – but God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” {Romans 5:6-8 ESV}