Holy Week, Wednesday

Do you love a good deal on everyday products?  I do.  Coupons, BOGOs, % off, clearance, sales. I hardly ever pay full price for anything.  Full price these days seems obsurd in this economy.  Then there is the wheelin’ and dealin’ when it comes to buying cars, homes – big ticket items.  Negotiating is something I can’t stand to do.  My husband is good at it, though.  Even big stuff is talked down to levels (hopefully) that makes one sleep a little better at night.

Commercials scream sales, billboards boast the best for less, and radios loop bargains over and over.  The over-stimulus of it all is mind-boggling.  We are well used to getting good deals.  However, with God, there is no such thing as a sale, deal, or negotiating.  God is holy.  He cannot be dickered with, out-talked, dumbed-down, or anything else that negates the preciousness of His holiness.

What He commands is respect, holy fear (reverence), and obedience.  Have we lost sight of this?  We are used to getting something for nothing, or next to nothing.  That’s not at all what happened on the cross two thousand years ago.  For  thousands of years, the only rectification or atonement for sin was blood sacrifice.  Period.  No two-for-one, bonus days, or friends & family discounts.  Complete blood sacrifice – exactly the way God outlined it in the Old Testament.  In other words…full price.

Full price is exactly what it cost God to end the separation between Him and us caused by our sin.  Full price is what Jesus paid for every single human being.  For God, it cost Him giving His perfect Son up for us.  For Christ, it was being separated from His Father, charged and punished for sin He never committed, and in the process enduring unimaginable pain and suffering – without saying a word in His defense.

A cost that split the temple curtain (6 feet thick) in two from top to bottom; the sun hid in despair; the earth quaked in fear; and time was forever split B.C. and A.D.  A cost that changed the hearts of many priests who had spearheaded His death; froze guards into near dead men; moved a boulder; sent angels in tangible form; gave over 500 people a visitation from Christ after He rose again; and blew rushing wind of the Holy Spirit through closed rooms at Pentecost.

Full price.  Can we wrap our heads around it in this day and age?  Can we stop looking for a bargain in religion, wanting something for nothing, long enough to understand that it cost Christ absolutely everything to close the gap between God and us?  And, can we accept that what Christ demands from us is our all – even our lives?  Wow.  We’re used to being the negotiators.  Not this time.  Never.

Consider on this Holy Week of Wednesday that God is holy.  Step out of our norm and into the throneroom of God with reverence, respect and obedience.  We submit to His authority.  We humble ourselves in His perfect presence.  We worship Christ, who died so we can live, and He lives with us and in us.

God is holy.  Let’s meditate on this today.  Let it sink deep in our souls.  Let it sober our minds.  Let it pierce our hearts as we walk each day closer to the cross, with a better understanding of the price, the full price, it cost both God and Christ, to save us.

Scripture to meditate on…

* Isaiah 6:1-5 (Isaiah’s commission),

In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphs, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another:   “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.”At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.“Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty.”
Praise the LORD.I will extol the LORD with all my heart
in the council of the upright and in the assembly.

Great are the works of the LORD;
they are pondered by all who delight in them.

Glorious and majestic are his deeds,
and his righteousness endures forever.

He has caused his wonders to be remembered;
the LORD is gracious and compassionate.

He provides food for those who fear him;
he remembers his covenant forever.

He has shown his people the power of his works,
giving them the lands of other nations.

The works of his hands are faithful and just;
all his precepts are trustworthy.

They are steadfast for ever and ever,
done in faithfulness and uprightness.

He provided redemption for his people;
he ordained his covenant forever—
holy and awesome is his name.

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom;
all who follow his precepts have good understanding.
To him belongs eternal praise.

* 2 Samuel 24:18-19, 21-24 

On that day Gad went to David and said to him, “Go up and build an altar to the LORD on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.” 19 So David went up, as the LORD had commanded through Gad.Araunah said, “Why has my lord the king come to his servant?”“To buy your threshing floor,” David answered, “so I can build an altar to the LORD, that the plague on the people may be stopped.”22 Araunah said to David, “Let my lord the king take whatever pleases him and offer it up. Here are oxen for the burnt offering, and here are threshing sledges and ox yokes for the wood. 23 O king, Araunah gives all this to the king.” Araunah also said to him, “May the LORD your God accept you.”24 But the king replied to Araunah, “No, I insist on paying you for it. I will not sacrifice to the LORD my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing.”So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen and paid fifty shekels of silver for them.
* 2 Chronicles 7:1-4  (The Dedication of the Temple)
 1 When Solomon finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the LORD filled the temple. 2 The priests could not enter the temple of the LORD because the glory of the LORD filled it. 3When all the Israelites saw the fire coming down and the glory of the LORD above the temple, they knelt on the pavement with their faces to the ground, and they worshiped and gave thanks to the LORD, saying,   “He is good; his love endures forever.”4 Then the king and all the people offered sacrifices before the LORD.

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