So High the Price

cross in the snow
photo by Libby

As I wrote the poem in my last post, realization struck me that the words I was using to describe a soldier truly described my Savior as well—the greatest champion of freedom that will ever be. Before the foundations of this world were even formed, God knew that man would become the captive of sin. And before man ever fulfilled that knowledge, God planned to send us the best soldier he had to rescue us from that cruel slavery.

About two thousand years ago, Operation Freedom began when a Son was born in a little Jewish village, amidst one of the poorest circumstances imaginable. As this baby Boy grew up, everybody could tell He was special; but they did not know just how special. They didn’t realize that He was the Son of God, the Messiah they had been waiting for since God’s promise to Eve so long ago, the sinless Lamb who would bear all their sins in His own body as the final sacrifice for their freedom.

He was just a carpenter for most of His life. But at thirty years of age He left training behind to launch the focus of His mission—souls. He traveled throughout the nation and beyond, performing miracles of physical healing so He could deliver His message of spiritual healing. And like any soldier, He had two factions dogging His steps—those who believed in Him and His work, and those who rabidly opposed everything He did. As time passed, the voices of opposition grew louder and more numerous, until they finally resolved to kill Him and end His mission. They dragged Him to a mockery of a trial in which they charged Him with crimes no witness could bring evidence for. They scourged Him and stripped Him and subjected Him to every humiliation they could before leading Him to a cross on a hill.

He gave up His life that day. But His mission had not failed. No power of evil on earth could prevent this Soldier from completing His mission, because He was God. The death with which His enemies had slain Him was all part of the plan, and the rest of it was His resurrection from death three days later. Having given Himself as the required sacrifice in payment for the sins of the whole world, this Soldier then took back His life to defeat death itself and complete Operation Freedom. Now whoever wished to be free from the bondage of sin and death had only to believe in Him and accept the work He already did for them, and they could be free forever. Free from the power of sin in their lives, free from the power of death in eternity.

John 8:36 “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.”

Romans 3:24 “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus…”

Romans 8:2 “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.”

I Peter 3:18 “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit.”

Isaiah 53:5 “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.”

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.”

We call a soldier’s death the ultimate sacrifice. And I suppose it is…after all, the Bible says “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” A soldier can have many reasons to join the military—finances, patriotism, bitterness, or even spite. But the greatest Soldier in history lay down his life for his enemies as well as his friends, because of love. We don’t like to have love cost us anything. The highest price ever paid for love was when Jesus Christ the Son of God took on mortal flesh for 33 years and lived a perfect life so he could die our perfect substitute.

Memorial Day is the day set aside out of 364 others to remember those who died to win our freedom. Every day should be the day we remember the God who died to win our soul’s freedom—the One who paid so high a price.

—Libby

{Inspiration: a YouTube video by the Steve Pettit Evangelistic Team called “So High the Price,” from their album of the same name.}

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