The Debt Has Been Paid
I think we all find different ways to think about the sacrifice which was given on our behalf. Things that take us back to the cross. A certain passage. A certain song. Whatever that may be. For me sometimes it's an encounter. An encounter that was made with Jesus that helps me just remember who He was and why He did what He did. And that's what I want to share with you. Maybe it’s not something we typically think about, but it's in Luke chapter 7. And the reason I look at these encounters is because I put myself in these situations, and I wonder who was I or who would have I been or how would have I reacted in an encounter with Jesus. So, I challenge you to think about that and examine yourselves. Starting in verse 36 it says:
36 Now one of the Pharisees was requesting Him to dine with him, and He entered the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. 37 And there was a woman in the city who was a sinner; and when she learned that He was reclining at the table in the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster vial of perfume, 38 and standing behind Him at His feet, weeping, she began to wet His feet with her tears, and kept wiping them with the hair of her head, and kissing His feet and anointing them with the perfume. 39 Now when the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet He would know who and what sort of person this woman is who is touching Him, that she is a sinner.” 40 And Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” And he replied, “Say it, Teacher.” 41 “A moneylender had two debtors: one owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42 When they were unable to repay, he graciously forgave them both. So which of them will love him more?” 43 Simon answered and said, “I suppose the one whom he forgave more.” And He said to him, “You have judged correctly.” 44 Turning toward the woman, He said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has wet My feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You gave Me no kiss; but she, since the time I came in, has not ceased to kiss My feet. 46 You did not anoint My head with oil, but she anointed My feet with perfume. 47 For this reason I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little.” 48 Then He said to her, “Your sins have been forgiven.”
Simon the Pharisee should have known who Jesus was. I think about this situation. What would bring this woman to come into a Pharisee’s home; not invited? What would bring her to this point? To be close to Jesus? With her sins, she knew she needed to be forgiven. She needed Jesus. She needed Him and she recognized that. And it’s that forgiveness we remember. It’s what the sacrifice means to us. Make it personal for a minute. Have we not a lot that we need forgiven? Verse 47:
For this reason I say to you, [my] sins, which are many, have been forgiven,
Our sins. So much grace and mercy was given. And the debt was paid. And that's what we remember: that our debt was paid. You know an understanding that God shows mercy and grace is one thing, but I can't fathom sometimes why. Why did He show so much grace and mercy? Why did He pay my debt? There's only one reason…
He loved the Pharisee, and He loved the sinner. Ephesians 2 says:
4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),
His love for us. And God's love does not hinge on my love or your love. In the abundance of my love towards Him, it doesn't make His love increase. And in the lack of my love, it doesn't diminish His love for me and for you.
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Our debt has been paid, just like her debt was paid.