Jesus Paid it All

Tis the season for Christmas music all around us. From “Jingle Bells” to “Joy to the World” our family embraces the holiday tunes the moment Thanksgiving is done (or sooner if we can’t resist).

With the Christmas playlist set and the boxes taken down from the attic, we began to decorate the house. In the midst of untangling lights and sorting through boxes, I was surprised to have a song come to my mind that wasn’t a Christmas jingle but an Easter hymn, “Jesus Paid It All”.

Maybe it came to mind as I counted the cost of spending my Saturday decorating instead of watching football. Regardless, I began to sing the song and was soon moved to tears thinking about the lyrics.

I hear the savior say, thy strength indeed is small
Child of weakness, watch and pray, find in me thine all in all

Jesus paid it all,

All to him I owe,

Sin had left a crimson stain,

He washed it white as snow.

When I look at Christmas through the lens of the cross, it reminds me why Jesus came and how great a price he paid for us to have life abundantly.

Jesus Came for Our Weakness

I love the opening line of the hymn,

I hear the savior say, thy strength indeed is small
Child of weakness watch and pray, find in me thine all in all

Often in times of need I can hear, or sense, the Holy Spirit speaking to me about my weakness. “I know your strength is small Joe, but lean on my strength and find me to be all you need here.”

God knows our weakness and steps in to do what we cannot.

For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. (Romans 8:3-4, ESV)

God gave the law to his people because he loved them. However, they couldn’t follow the law because of their tendency to buck or reject God’s authority in their life. Even when God proved over and over that he was good, full of love, full of mercy, full of justice, and trustworthy - the people of God still were weakened by their flesh to follow him.

God did what we could not. By sending his Son, Jesus, to fulfill the righteous requirement of the law and offer to “trade us” (2 Cor. 5:21).

Because Jesus came to offer his strength in our weakness, we can rejoice this Christmas.

Jesus Came to Pay for Our Sin

But he was pierced for our transgressions;
   he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
   and with his wounds we are healed.
(Isaiah 53:5, ESV)

The fear of failure is still something that God is helping me to overcome. The idea of missing the mark in life gives me anxiety because I can put my value in what I can bring to the table. If I fail then I am a failure is the way the world thinks. Imagine the peace that comes when all my past, present, and future failures are known and I’m still loved?

Because Jesus came and paid for all my past, present, and future sins on the cross, I can find rest in his forgiveness for me. Scholar and professor Miroslav Volf describes this well for me, “The heart of forgiveness is the release of genuine debt.” Not only can I experience peace of being forgiven, but the joy of being released of a genuine debt I have to God.

We can be thankful this Christmas for Christ coming to give me forgiveness that brings me peace when I remember the cross.

Jesus Came to Wash Us (White as Snow)

“though your sins are like scarlet,they shall be as white as snow” (Isaiah 1:18, ESV)

It’s amazing the way that snow can transform a landscape. When we trust in Jesus as our savior, it’s like a fresh snowfall covering our most heinous of sins. He washes us from a shame stained past and helps us overcome sins that have condemned us for all of our lives.

Even if your Christmas isn’t a white one in the natural, remember he takes our sins that are like scarlet and washes them white as snow in Christ.

As we remember the price Jesus paid on the cross it helps us appreciate the gift God gave us in Jesus that first Christmas. Consider putting in some Easter into your Christmas this year if that playlist is beginning to sound tired. :)

 

JOE PAOLINO