Posted by: mikenicholsblog | March 7, 2013

paid the price

In three weeks, most reading this article will enjoy a holiday.  There will be a multitude of events that happen on that day, from fun and recreational outings to meaningful and deeply spiritual observances. Good Friday should be a day of reflection.  The world will take time to look at the historical event we call the crucifixion of Christ.  Churches will seek to help us look at what that day really represents. Christ-followers will battle their human desires for a relaxing day against a deep sense of reverence for what Christ did on the cross.  I am convinced that most serious followers of Christ look at this day with profound thankfulness for the price that Christ paid for our redemption.  I had a chance to reflect this week on the love of Christ as I read a true story about a guilty grandmother and a ten-dollar price tag.

One winter’s night in 1935, it is told, Fiorello LaGuardia, the irrepressible mayor of New York City, showed up at a night court in the poorest ward of the city. He dismissed the judge for the evening and took over the bench. That night a tattered old woman, charged with stealing a loaf of bread, was brought before him. She defended herself by saying, “My daughter’s husband has deserted her. She is sick, and her children are starving.”

The shopkeeper refused to drop the charges, saying, “It’s a bad neighborhood, your honor, and she’s got to be punished to teach other people a lesson.”

LaGuardia sighed. He turned to the old woman and said, “I’ve got to punish you; the law makes no exceptions. Ten dollars or ten days in jail.” However, while pronouncing the sentence, LaGuardia reached into his pocket, took out a ten-dollar bill, and threw it into his hat with these famous words: “Here’s the ten-dollar fine, which I now remit, and furthermore, I’m going to fine everyone in the courtroom fifty cents for living in a town where a person has to steal bread so that her grandchildren can eat. Mr. Bailiff, collect the fines and give them to the defendant.”

The following day, a New York newspaper reported: “Forty-seven dollars and fifty cents was turned over to a bewildered old grandmother who had stolen a loaf of bread to feed her starving grandchildren. Making forced donations were a red-faced storekeeper, seventy petty criminals, and a few New York policemen.  (William Bausch, A World of Stories for Preachers and Teachers)

The old grandmother had a debt she couldn’t pay. Justice demanded a payment. All mankind had debt for our sins that we could never pay.  God being just, demanded a payment. The debt could only be paid in one way; by the sinless Son of God. He took our sins upon Himself. Oh, what a price He paid!  Although we are thankful, it is hard to comprehend the enormous price of our Salvation. I trust that a tough mayor, a tattered grandmother and a ten-dollar bill will help you prepare for the coming holiday, reflecting on the price that Jesus paid for you and me.

If you don’t know this Christ and the true and very real story of the price He paid for you, we would love to share it today.  Don’t wait another minute, reach out to us by clicking here. We love to tell the story of a God who loved you SO much that He paid your debt with the most precious possession He had.


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